Emerging Neuromodulation Therapies & Diagnostic Tools - News Archive - 2014 & Earlier

Earlier news:

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools 2014

International Neuromodulation Society Members Present Difficult Pain Cases

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD, and Jason Pope, MD, have published two reports in a series of articles about "Managing the Difficult Pain Case". The first concerns controlling pain from a brachial plexus injury with spinal cord stimulation (SCS), allowing the patient to wean off of several medications, including morphine. The second case concerned intrathecal ziconotide that relieved at least 80% of the pain from failed back surgery syndrome in a 63-year-old man who did not find sufficient pain relief from a trial of SCS. The patient next anticipated bilateral total knee replacement and plans to be weaned from all controlled-substance drugs. (Pain Medicine News)

Viewpoint: Deep Brain Stimulation and Biologics May Provide Combinatorial Treatment Strategies

Dec. 17, 2014 - Researchers in San Francisco propose combining cell transplantation and gene therapy with deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease to evaluate the biologic therapy. They list several potential advantages to such a clinical trial design, including the potential to reveal treatment paradigms relevant to other diseases of the brain. (Movement Disorders)

North American Neuromodulation Society Issues Lifetime Achievement Award

Dec. 16, 2014 - The North American Neuromodulation Society presented a Lifetime Achievement award to Prof. Alim Louis Benabid, board chairman of Clinatec - The Edmond J. Safra Biomedical Research Center for his work on developing deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. (News-Medical.net)

U.S. Agency Seeks Capabilities to Stimulate Peripheral Nervous System to Treat Disease

Dec. 15, 2014 - A news release says, "DARPA’s Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program is seeking innovative research proposals to help transform neuromodulation therapies from last resort to first choice for a wide range of diseases." The agency has issued a notice of capabilities sought that "would leverage advanced sensing and stimulating technologies to target specific peripheral neural circuits that control organ functions." Both inflammatory disease and mental health disorders are being targeted. (Medical Design Technology)

Dorsal Root Ganglion Studies Presented

Dec. 15, 2014 - Twenty peer-reviewed abstracts were presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting about dorsal root ganglion stimulation using Spinal Modulation's Axium neurostimulator system for chronic pain. The studies in Australia and Europe included chronic post-surgical pain, upper limb neuropathy, and visceral pain. (Business Wire)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Trial to Start

Dec. 15, 2014 - Israel's Brainsway said it will carry out a clinical trial of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation with FDA clearance in 166 patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder. (Mass Device)

Brain Stimulation Said to Boost Performance on Anti-Anxiety Training

Dec. 15, 2014 - An article in Biological Psychiatry says transcranial direct current stimulation to a region of the frontal cortex helped subjects perform better at a task designed to retrain unhelpful patterns of attention that are known to maintain high levels of anxiety, in which participants endeavor to direct their attention away from "unhelpful information". (Health Canal)

Article Highlights Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Use in Treatment-Resistant Depression

Dec. 15, 2014 - A news feature on transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression says up to one-third of patients can achieve remission, and about 50 - 60% of patients show some response. (U.S. News & World Report)

Neurosurgery Resident Presents Neuromodulation for Future Health Practitioners

Dec. 12, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shannon Hann, MD, has authored an article with INS President Simon Thomson, MBBS on a website devoted to future healthcare professionals that introduces neuromodulation as a modality they may see more of in their future. (Student Doctor Network)

Anti-Pain Device Clinical Trial Will Enroll Patients Who Have Axial Low Back Pain Without Prior Back Surgery

Dec. 12, 2014 - Stimwave Technologies Inc. announced a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Tsunami, to evaluate its miniature, wireless anti-pain neuromodulation device in 45 patients who have chronic, non-specific-origin lower back pain. The study will begin enrollment in 2015 in the U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium. In addition to pain reduction, secondary endpoints are quality of life, patients' global impression of change and reduction in opioid use. (Mass Device)

Anti-Pain Device Clinical Trial Will Enroll Patients Who Have Axial Low Back Pain Without Prior Back Surgery

Dec. 12, 2014 - Stimwave Technologies Inc. announced a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Tsunami, to evaluate its miniature, wireless anti-pain neuromodulation device in 45 patients who have chronic, non-specific-origin lower back pain. The study will begin enrollment in 2015 in the U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium. In addition to pain reduction, secondary endpoints are quality of life, patients' global impression of change and reduction in opioid use. (Mass Device)

Company Presents Several Studies of Spinal Cord Stimulation at North American Neuromodulation Society Meeting

Dec. 12, 2014 - Retrospective data presented at the 18th North American Neuromodulation Society meeting show that stimulation targeting enabled by Boston Scientific Corporation's 32-contact Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulator system and anatomy-driven Illumina 3D™ software contributed to pain reduction that averaged more than 50% in 213 patients at 12 months. Other presentations included describing a 10-kHz spinal cord stimulation trial, ACCELERATE, and a clinical trial evaluating sub-perception multiple independent current control, WHISPER. (PR Newswire)

Scoliosis Patient Reported to Benefit From Spinal Cord Stimulation to Limit Chronic Pain

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Sanjay Sastry, MD, and colleagues in Florida report a case of a man with spinal curvature and chronic pain from spine surgery who successfully received a spinal cord stimulator implant to manage his chronic pain symptoms. (Pain Medicine News)

Business Column Describes Bioelectronic Therapies

Dec. 10, 2014 - In a healthcare innovation column the Financial Times mentions the GlaxoSmithKline initiative with SetPoint Medical to modulate the vagus nerve to treat inflammatory disease, and electroCore's research into vagus nerve stimulation therapies. The column also mentions FDA approval of the Inspire Medical Systems "bioelectronic" system to treat obstructive sleep apnea, and EnteroMedic's FDA-approved system to control food intake through vagus nerve stimulation. The column cites revival of a newborn by cardiac electrostimulation in 1928 as the start of the modern era of bioelectronic medicine. (Financial Times)

Membrane Might Add Sense of Touch to Prostheses

Dec. 10, 2014 - Researchers from Seoul National University report in Nature Communications development of stretchable ​silicon nanoribbon electronics for skin prosthesis that might transfer signals to nerves via an ultrathin multi-electrode array. (Business Insider Australia)

Optogenetics Research Suggests New Intervention Target in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

December/January 2014 - Data presented at the American Epilepsy Society’s annual meeting in Seattle indicate optogenetics may be a promising future therapy; researchers at the University of California in Irvine showed that in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, activating cells in the lateral cerebellar cortex or vermis with optogenetic lasers shortened seizures and in the case of the vermis, also prolonged seizure-free periods. The results indicate the cerebellum could be a good target for intervention, and reveal a strong influence between brain structures that are not typically thought to interact. (Neurology Now)

Parents of Middle-Schooler with Dystonia Contemplate Future Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

Dec. 6, 2014 - Relatives of a 12-year-old boy with dystonia describe their experience and how they are considering deep brain stimulation in the future, which is said to improve about 80% of the cases of his type of dystonia, DYTi. (American Epilepsy Society)

Physicians Update Recommendations on Deep Brain Stimulation in Severe Tourette Syndrome

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Andre Machado, MD, PhD; Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD; Joseph Neimat, MD; Barbara Changizi, MD; Verle Visser-Vandewalle, MD; Michael Pourfar, MD; J. G. Zhang, MD and colleagues have published updated recommendations regarding deep brain stimulation for Tourette syndrome, noting that the therapy can be a promising approach for a subset of medication refractory and severely affected patients. (Movement Disorders)

Ostomy Patient Publicizes Her Pain Relief from a Spinal Cord Stimulator

Dec. 8, 2014 - A woman who suffered neuropathic pain after a portion of her intestinal tract was removed says spinal cord stimulation relives 80-85% of her pain. (Great Falls Tribune)

Authors Examine New Directions of Deep Brain Stimulation

December 2014 - International Medical Society member Jonathan Miller, MD, has co-authored an article about new directions in deep brain stimulation that says, "The intersection of advances in neuromodulation, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, and functional neuroanatomy has created an environment rife with new therapeutic possibilities." (PubMed)

Federal Agency, Patient Groups Team Challenge Developers to Devise Seizure Data Algorithms

Dec. 6, 2014 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation sponsored an online competition that drew 504 entrants who used recordings of seizures in both canines and people to try to develop algorithms to detect and predict the events. The winning team forecast abnormal brain activity with 82% accuracy. An article says the sponsors hope that one day the predictive algorithms will help to reduce seizures through being "married with the computing power of handheld devices and be used by epileptics." (Washington Post)

Company Starts Proof-of-Concept Anti-inflammatory Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Crohn's Disease

Dec. 4, 2014 - In conjunction with the  Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s annual conference in Orlando, SetPoint Medical announced the start of a clinical trial of a bioelectronic medicine therapy for Crohn's Disease. The proof-of-concept study will include patients at five centers in Europe whose condition did not respond to treatment with a tumor necrosis factor antagonist drug. SetPoint's implanted device will be used to stimulate the vagus nerve to produce a systemic anti-inflammatory effect. (Business Wire)

Scientists Demonstrate Potential of Wireless Film to Serve as Retinal Implant

Dec. 3, 2014 - A collaboration between researchers in Israel and the U.K. has developed a light-sensitive film that could some day form the basis of a prosthetic retina. The film combines semiconductor nanorods and carbon nanotubes and has shown a response in neural tissue in preliminary studies. (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Refractory Angina Pectoris Patients Showed Improved Perfusion After Spinal Cord Stimulation

Dec. 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Pirkka Rautakorpi, MD and Markku Taittonen, MD, PhD, and colleagues from Turku University Hospital in Finland have published a prospective case series that indicated that three weeks of continuous spinal cord stimulation in 18 patients with refractory angina pectoris was able to alleviate myocardial perfusion abnormalities from coronary artery disease. (European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging)

Imaging Studies Suggest Networks at Risk in Alzheimer's Disease and Schizophrenia

Nov. 24, 2014 - Imaging and modeling studies in 484 healthy subjects, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that a network of grey matter in the brain that develops in late adolescence and is responsible for coordinating "high-order" information from different senses covers the same region of the brain as the areas affected by Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. The finding may help in targeting treatments for the brain disorders. (BBC News)

Study Suggests That Motivation is a Factor in Cognitive Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Nov. 11, 2014 - Ensuring participants' incentives are high may expand cognitive benefits associated with transcranial direct current stimulation, according to experiments that compared performance, with and without financial incentives, between groups that had either high or low working memory capacity. The subjects with high working memory only showed an increase in oxygenated blood flow when the externally applied stimulation was coupled with a financial incentive, while the subjects with low working memory had improved oxygenated blood flow with and without the added incentive. The authors say that in clinical populations "motivation can be a concern" and so their finding is relevant for translational application of the technology. (Neuroimage)

Pakistan Patient Expresses Appreciation for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Dec. 4, 2014 - A patient who received a deep brain stimulation implant for an unspecified indication in Lahore last month spoke with the news media and expressed appreciation for government support for the surgery which he could not afford to have overseas. He said that the operation bestowed him a new life and he will not have to spend his life dependent on others. (Pakistan Observer)

First Auditory Brainstem Implants Performed on Preschoolers in India with Government Support

Dec. 3, 2014 - Two children in India had auditory brainstem implants with government support, which is usually available for the more-common cochlear implant procedure. The procedures, performed in November, were also written up in The Hindu. The surgery was presented as the first time it was done in Asia with government funding; a representative of a research foundation said the procedure has only been done in Korea, France, Germany, the U.S., Italy, Turkey and India. (The New Indian Express)

Article Highlights Military Research into Performance-Enhancing Technology

Dec. 3, 2014 - The U.S. military is researching brain-stimulation techniques for cognitive enhancement to improve focus or memory, as well as devices such as exoskeletons to permit carrying more weight. (Vox)

Feature Profiles Dystonia Patient Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

Dec. 2, 2014 - A health care worker in Idaho who has dystonia described how her symptoms lessened after she had a deep brain stimulation implant. (Deseret News)

U.S. Patient Enrollment Complete for Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Chronic Pain

Dec. 2, 2014 - Enrollment has been completed for the randomized, controlled pivotal trial of the Axium Neurostimulator System, Spinal Modulation announced. The study co-lead, International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, commented that results from European studies have been promising. The U.S. study, ACCURATE, has 152 patients at 22 centers who either have pain from nerve injuries (peripheral causalgia) or complex regional pain syndrome. The Axium targets the dorsal root ganglion, unlike traditional spinal cord stimulators. The ACCURATE study is considered the largest study of patients who suffer from peripheral causalgia or complex regional pain syndrome. The design of the ACCURATE study will be presented at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, as well as clinical outcomes from Europe and Australia, where the system is commercially available. (CNN Money)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Comments on Value of Collaborative Database

Dec. 1, 2014 - The free-to-use, searchable, collaborative database of primary neurostimulation research data, WIKISTIM, announced in its monthly newsletter that it received two unexpected donations last month and will present two posters at the December annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. In addition to previous corporate donations and a new donation of $5,000 from Greatbatch in recognition of the value of the site to its employees, an individual donation came from International Neuromodulation Society member B. Todd Stizman, MD, PhD, who was quoted as remarking that the benefit of the resource "should be obvious to all [spinal cord stimulation] implanters, academic and private practice," adding that more should know about the initiative. Section editors include INS members Tracy Cameron, PhD; Elliot Krames, MD; Bengt Linderoth, MD, PhD; Robert Foreman, PhD; Richard North, MD; and Konstantin Slavin. MD. (A sacral nerve stimulation section editor is to be determined.) (WIKISTIM)

Study Casts Doubt on Impact of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Nov. 28, 2014 - Pooled results of more than 100 studies of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation casts doubt on the physiological effects, and cognitive effects are at best small, short-lasting and not replicated across laboratories, according to a news feature. (New Scientist)

Study Suggests New Approach to Reducing Medication-Caused Dyskinesias

Nov. 26, 2014 - Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology of the National Research Council in Catanzaro, Italy, and the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome published in the journal Brain that transcranial magnetic stimulation of the lower frontal brain cortex inhibited dyskinesia from levodopa use in Parkinson's disease, suggesting new therapeutic protocols of combined medication and neurostimulation may improve function. (Research Italy)

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgeries for Movement Disorder Show Success in Iran

Nov. 24, 2014 - Iranian neurosurgeons at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences have successfully performed deep brain stimulation surgery on two patients, one with dystonia. They said the patients' movement symptoms were improved 70 percent. The dystonia patient was a 22-year-old woman who had difficulty moving some of her limbs and could not walk on her own. (Mehr News Agency)

Retinal Prosthetic Materials Researcher Thinks Promising Project May Fall Short of Funds

Nov. 23, 2014 - Researchers at Melbourne University are working on Bionic Vision Australia's high-acuity bionic eye that with 256 electrodes is far more sensitive than its 24-electrode early prototype that has been implanted in three patients. Due to lack the funds to do preclinical and clinical testing on the advanced version, they anticipate the project will fall into a "valley of death" prior to commercialization. Federal funding will run out in about six months and without a demonstrable next-generation product, private funding is unlikely, according to an interview with the professor who has led bench-top research on the electrode-dense interface, which is fashioned from artificial diamonds for durability and biocompatibility. (The Age)

European Parliament Member Speaks Up About Dystonia, Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 25, 2014 - European Parliament Member Glenis Willmott, chair of its Access to Medicines working group, notes that deep brain stimulation therapy is not widely available across the European Union. "In Romania for example, it is not reimbursed and in Ireland people have to travel abroad for treatment. In some EU countries the number of operations is capped," she writes, adding that when Parliament meets in Strasbourg, France, she will join an awareness event, a "Jump for Dystonia" photo call, on Nov. 25 and 26. (The Parliament Magazine)

Northern India Facility to Provide Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain

Nov. 25, 2014 - A man who suffered a crushed pelvis after being struck by a car several years ago is the first to successfully complete a trial stimulation with spinal cord stimulation at the pain clinic at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh in northern India. The man said that he feels like a normal person again after eight years and is experiencing better sleep at night. (Times of India)

Researcher Does Not Rule Out Therapeutic Potential of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Heart Failure

Nov. 24, 2014 - An investigator in the clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in heart failure DEFEAT-HF said at the American Heart Association annual meeting that although the trial did not meet its primary endpoint of a change in left ventricular end-systolic volume after six months of SCS for 12 hours a day, data on the 60 patients who completed the study and the trial parameters have not conclusively ruled out the hypothesis that SCS may be discovered to help under certain conditions in some patients. (Healio)

Researchers Work on Interface to Provide Feedback to Prosthetic Arm

Nov. 24, 2014 - Researchers at UCSF have created an 8-electrode brain-machine interface in preclinical work on developing proprioceptive feedback from a prosthetic device. The project is funded by the NIH and DARPA's REPAIR (Reorganization and Plasticity to Accelerate Injury Recovery) initiative. (UCSF)

Atlanta-Area Facility Starts Offering Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 24, 2014 - Northeast Georgia Medical Center near Atlanta has started offering deep brain stimulation services. An article about the therapy says it offers patients hope for a better life. (Gainesville Times)

Column Explores Brain Implant Technologies

Nov. 21, 2014 - The BBC covers "seven steps to creating a brain implant" in a column about future technology. The steps include choosing an interface, a stimulus code, a biocompatible electrode or optogenetic approach, an implant-friendly energy source, and choosing what functions to restore or augment -- currently for people with severe deficits. (BBC)

Overactive Bladder Treatment Touted in T.V. Interview

Nov. 21, 2014 - A woman whose overactive bladder symptoms were calmed by posterior tibial nerve stimulation says in a local television interview that she wants everyone affected by the condition to know there is hope. (KDKA)

Review Surveys Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation for Traumatic Brain Injury

November 2014 - Physicians at the University of Pittsburgh review deep brain stimulation in traumatic brain injury. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Studied in Rehabilitation Research

Nov. 21, 2014 - Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center is one of the places that is conducting a clinical trial exploring the advantages of using transcranial magnetic stimulation in conjunction with stroke rehabilitation. The stimulation is intended to bring activity in the brain's hemispheres into better balance so exercises more productively help the stroke-affected hemisphere to rebuild connections. (Wexner Medical Center)

Man's Auditory Brainstem Implant a Success

Nov. 21, 2014 - A 48-year-old man is the first adult in New Zealand to have an auditory brainstem implant after losing his hearing in 2007 as a side-effect of antibiotics for blood poisoning. (New Zealand Herald)

Researchers Publish Progress Toward a Semiconductor-Based Pulse Generator

Nov. 20, 2014 - Collaborators in Taiwan and Israel have published their work to create a compact pulse generator on a CMOS chip. The 16-channel stimulation generator has five cascaded voltage doublers to boost the core voltage to more than 10 volts. Each channel is meant to be programmable and digitally controllable. They believe it could support already-implanted spinal cord stimulation leads, and are trying to improve performance for a wireless version to use ultrasonic transmitters and receivers. The article says that spinal cord stimulators "provide a low-cost alternative to pharmaceutical pain relief with fewer side effects . . . for a growing number of people." (Phys.org)

Company Has Started Testing Median-Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Hypertension

Nov. 18, 2014 - Valencia Technologies has created an implant to subcutaneously stimulate the median nerve to address hypertension. Their subcutaneous neuromodulation system has been tried in 38 people so far who have drug-resistant high blood pressure. The concept builds off the observation that acupuncture of the median nerve can lower blood pressure in some patients. (MedGadget)

Article Describes Benefits of Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Low Back Pain

Nov. 19, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Elias Veizi, MD, PhD and Salim Hayek, MD, PhD published a narrative review in a special issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface indicating that "some interventional pain medicine procedures have better risk-benefit and cost-effectiveness ratios than spine surgery." (HCP Live)

Study Presented at Conference Shows Brain-Stimulation Effect on Alertness

Nov. 19, 2014 - Military research that compared transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) vs. caffeine chewing gum and sham stimulation vs. placebo chewing gum and sham stimulation in sleep-deprived volunteers showed tDCS enhanced alertness for up to six hours after the 30-minute session. (The Guardian)

INS Member in Pennsylvania Noted for Role in Neurostimulation Guideline Development

Nov. 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Steven Falowski, MD, was cited in a news brief for participating as a co-author of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee's recently published guidelines. (Warren Hospital)

Company Says Tool Under Development Will Aid Neurostimulation Brain Surgery

Nov. 19, 2014 - A neurosurgical tool in early-stage development combines sensors and three-dimensional, previously acquired patient images to help surgeons avoid blood vessels and potentially to deliver neurostimulation, the developers said. Called "Chimaera," the handheld probe is under development by Cambridge Consultants. (Cambridge News)

Physicians in Calgary Enroll Patients in Depression Clinical Trial

Nov. 18, 2014 - Researchers affiliated with the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine have enrolled four patients in a study of deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression, and are looking for 20 more. (CTV News)

News Coverage Explores Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment in Canada

Nov. 18, 2014 - An article about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for refractory depression in Canada says treatment-resistant depression costs the health-care system about $19,000 per patient per year, while TMS costs about $6,500 per person, and that patients who respond are likely to stay in remission with maintenance treatments. (CTV News)

Collaborators Make Flexible Potential Artificial Retina

Nov. 17, 2014 - A film of carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanorods might function as a prosthetic retina in age-related macular degeneration, according to collaborating researchers in Israel and the U.K. (Photonics Online)

Visiting Neurosurgeon Will Provide Deep Brain Stimulation in Oman

Nov. 17, 2014 - A neurosurgeon from India will be visiting the Al Hayat International Hospital once a month, offering deep brain stimulation at the Oman facility. Prior to this service, most patients with neurological disorders had to go out of the country to seek treatment and there were not many options for followup. (Muscat Daily)

Dose-Ranging Trial Shows Significant

Nov. 17, 2014 - In a dose-ranging Phase II clinical trial of external trigeminal stimulation in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, the 43 patients who received active therapy showed significant symptom improvement (41.2%) compared to 10.9% improvement in those who received sham treatment. NeuroSigma Inc., which funded the trial of its stimulation device, plans to present detailed results in 2015 at a scientific meeting, as well as to conduct a multi-center double-blind clinical trial. (PR Newswire)

Review Proposes Deep Brain Stimulation as a New Treatment for Refractory Hypertension

Nov. 16, 2014 - In patients who had both medication-resistant hypertension and neuropathic pain for which they were receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS), it was noticed that the treatment serpendipitiously lowered blood pressure and improved baroflex sensitivity. Clinicians in Bristol, UK, have prepared a review article that proposes the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray matter as the most promising target for DBS as a new treatment for drug-resistant hypertension. (Current Hypertension Reports)

Team Demonstrates in Lab Animals Gene Expression Via an Optogenetic Implant Wirelessly Controlled by Intentional Mental States

Nov. 11, 2014 - A European research team demonstrated in mice the ability to trigger expression of immune-system mediators in cultured, modified mammalian cells linked to the mice via a semi-permeable membrane. The resulting product was then detected in the animals' blood. The expression was controlled wirelessly by an infrared optogenetic switch that received electroencephalography (EEG) signals reflecting different consciously applied brain states in a human wearing an EEG headset. The researchers say mental states such as concentration or meditation led to differential control of the production of beta-interferon that was induced by the subcutaneous implants in the mice. Stimulation of the cultured cells in the implant produced an intermediary second-messenger compound that induced creation of the anti-infective protein. (Nature Communications)

Funding Opportunity Seeks Applications Regarding Recording and Modulation of the Nervous System

Nov. 5, 2014 - Applications for a funding opportunity at the National Institutes of Health, through the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, will be accepted starting in January 2015. The funding opportunity, "New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System" (RFA-NS-15-003), "seeks applications for proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the nervous system." (NIH)

Article Describes the Forefront of Deep Brain Stimulation in Oregon

Nov. 13, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, Ohio State University Associate Dean of Neuroscience and Director of the Neurological Institute, was interviewed in a news feature about deep brain stimulation (DBS). The article describes Dr. Kim Burchiel of Oregon Health Sciences University convincing the Oregon state medical board in 2013 that proper investigational use of DBS does not violate a state mandate against psychosurgery. Dr. Rezai is quoted as saying he believes in 20 years more than a million people will be walking around with brain implants, similar to the way cardiac pacemakers became better accepted over time. (Portland Tribune)

Book Presents the Stories of Neurotechnology-Implant Recipients

Nov. 12, 2014 - Jennifer French and James Cavuoto, executive director and vice president, respectively, of the nonprofit advocacy organization Neurotech Network, have published a new book profiling 10 individuals who have used a range of neurotechnology devices to address neurological conditions. Cavuoto, who is editor at Neurotech Press, calls the book Bionic Pioneers "one of the few health and medicine titles that pays tribute to the users who literally put life and limb on the line to help develop new neurotech therapies." (send2press)

Epilepsy Patient Describes the Benefits of Her Vagus Nerve Stimulator During Epilepsy Awareness Month

Nov. 12, 2014 - During Epilepsy Awareness Month, vagus nerve stimulation was described in a newscast as often appropriate for medically refractory epilepsy, yet not well-known. An epilepsy patient who has had an implanted vagus nerve stimulator for 10 years described switching to the therapy after having three grand mal seizures per day despite medication. The news coverage took place in Houston, where the device-maker, Cyberonics, is based. Cyberonics Chief Operating Officer Rohan Hoare, PhD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, commented that many more patients may be eligible for the device than receive them. (click2houston.com)

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial to Begin

Nov. 10, 2014 - ImThera Medical, Inc. has received FDA approval for a randomized, controlled, prospective, multi-center clinical trial of its aura6000® System for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The device, which is implanted under the tongue, has received CE mark approval in Europe. The trial will take place in Europe and in the U.S. under an investigational device exemption. The company calls the clinical trial THN3 (Targeted Hypoglossal Neurostimulation Study #3). In Texas, the Baylor College of Medicine said its Sinus Center will perform one of the first implants in that region. (Digital Journal)

Developer of Deep Brain Stimulation Receives $3 Million Life Sciences Prize

Nov. 10, 2014 - For his development of deep brain stimulation to control the tremors of Parkinson's disease, Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, has received a $3 million Breakthrough Prize that is funded by technology entrepreneurs including founders of Google and Facebook. The selection committee for the honor was comprised of the previous year's six winners in the life sciences. Initiated in 2012, the prize provides $3 million for each recipient and also includes awards in fundamental physics and mathematics. Its stated purpose is "to celebrate the best scientific work and also inspire the next generation of scientists." (streetinsider.com)

Researchers Demonstrate an Optogenetics Probe That Stimulates and Records Activity

Nov. 7, 2014 - In preclinical work, an MIT team demonstrated a flexible polymer optogenetics probe capable of recording neuronal activity and stimulating neurons with light. It consists of a transparent polycarbonate optical core; parallel conductive polyethylene electrodes for recording neuronal electrical activity; and cyclic olefin copolymer acting both as electrical insulation and optical cladding. (MIT News)

Patient from the United Kingdom Travels to India for a Less-Costly Procedure to Receive an Occipital Nerve Stimulator

Nov. 4, 2014 - A 32-year-old man from the UK with occipital neuralgia traveled to India to more affordably receive an occipital nerve stimulation implant to decrease his severe symptoms. He was quoted as saying the procedure cost half the amount it would have cost in the UK, where he said the NHS had declined to cover the cost of the surgery. (Hindustan Times)

U.S. FDA Seeks Comment on Soliciting Patient Input into Medical Device Development

Nov. 4, 2014 - The FDA has opened a docket, Docket No. FDA–2014–N–1698, for 30 days to receive feedback on how to include patient input on medical device development. Public comments are due Dec. 4, 2014. According to the announcement, the "FDA is currently using a variety of tools to help ensure that the patient community is involved in medical product discussions to enhance benefit-risk assessment." (Healthopolis)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Research Presentations Planned

Nov. 3, 2014 - Saying it is "reinforcing the company's commitment to developing innovative and effective therapies in neuromodulation," Boston Scientific Corporation announced it will present 12 months of data about its 32-contact Precision Spectra system and research into high-rate (10kHz) therapy and novel waveforms at the 18th annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society taking place in Las Vegas Dec. 11 - 14, 2014. (Providence Journal)

Pakistan Adds a Deep Brain Stimulation Implant Capability

Nov. 2, 2014 - With a government grant to purchase deep brain stimulation equipment, a physician in Pakistan who was trained in the U.S. and the U.K. has performed the first two deep brain stimulation surgeries in the country, at the Lahore General Hospital. (The Express Tribune)

U.K. Researchers Look at Effects of Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Heart Function

Nov. 1, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Leeds have stimulated the vagus nerve externally through the tragus, a flap at the front of the ear, in 34 healthy volunteers, seeing a couple of positive effects on heart rate for up to 15 minutes after a 15-minute session. Those included about a 20 percent increase in heart-rate variability, and a 50 percent reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity, such as might be desired from drugs such as beta-blockers. (domain-b.com)

Preclinical Studies Support Option of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 30, 2014 - Researchers working in parkinsonian monkeys show that spinal cord stimulation disrupts a pathological, highly synchronized neuronal activity in the cortico-basel ganglia-thalamic loop, addressing the excessive functional coupling among these structures in a fashion similar to dopamine replacement therapy or deep brain stimulation. The research provides insight into the mechanisms underlying improvements in motor function through spinal cord stimulation in Parkinson's disease, providing support for consideration of this option as a slightly less-invasive treatment than deep brain stimulation. (Neuron)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Initiates U.S. Implantation of Advanced Spinal Cord Stimulation System

Oct. 30, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD, is credited as being the first in the nation to implant the new 32-contact spinal cord stimulator system, CoverEdge, intended to allow flexibility and better control of electrical impulses delivered to the spine through a computer algorithm that allows for multiple complex configurations during programming of the stimulation. (Health Canal)

Sound Therapy for Preschooler Who Received Auditory Brainstem Implant is Compared to a Triathlon

Oct. 30, 2014 - The family of a 3-year-old who had an auditory brainstem implant as the first child in a small U.S.-based clinical study said they hope that at minimum, the device will help him attend to auditory cues concerning safety, such as the honking of a car horn. He is returning for a followup clinic visit in November, after having been videotaped responding to music at an event in the summer. (Montreal Gazette)

Publication Publishes Editorial Urging Quicker Referral to Pain Specialists

2014 - An editorial about wait-times for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) includes a closing tribute to Krishna Kumar, MD, the editorial co-author, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society who died in April at the age of 83. The editorial suggests that if guidelines were adopted that call for wait times of no longer than eight weeks for assessment by a pain specialist, SCS would be considered early as recommended by various pain societies. (Pain Management)

Preclinical Neuromodulation Research Will Compete for a Large, Venture-Backed Funding Award

September, 2014 - An assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine says she uses neuromodulation to try to answer questions about brains and aging in preclinical optogenetics research aimed at studying neural circuits at a systems level. She has submitted this work in competing for a new, privately funded research prize to fund biological investigations about longevity. The award comprises two components that each provide $500,000 in research funding. (paloatloprize.com)

Review: Stimulation of Dorsal Root Ganglion Minimizes Neuropathic Pain through Multiple Means

Oct. 29, 2014 - Upon reviewing the anatomical and physiological literature about the role of the dorsal root ganglion in the development of neuropathic pain, International Neuromodulation Society member Elliot Krames, MD, INS emeritus director-at-large, concludes that in the neuropathic pain state, electrical stimulation of this target has multiple effects that combine to stabilize and decrease hyperexcitability of dorsal-root-ganglion neurons, thereby decreasing the pain state. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Columnist Calls for Long-Term View on Depression Recovery, Even with the Aid of Neurostimulation

Oct. 28, 2014 - A psychiatrist from the Cleveland Clinic observes that even after lifting of chronic depression through brain-stimulation therapy, many patients still need to rebuild their relationships and place in the world, a healing process that apparently cannot be rushed and requires emotional support without expectations of a short-term fix. (Scientific American)

National Institutes of Health Requests Input on New Program about Neuromodulation of Organ Systems

Oct. 28, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health would like to gather information and identify potential participants for a workshop about possible avenues to have interdisciplinary teams of investigators deliver circuit maps of organ systems and concepts for neuromodulation interventions that may require novel electrodes, tailored implant procedures, and stimulation regimes. The workshop's output will help to guide the new NIH cross-cutting research program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). SPARC is anticipated to go into effect in fiscal 2015 through the NIH Common Fund, pursuant to available funds. (National Institutes of Health)

Interview Describes Plans for Brain Stimulation Research Aimed at Boosting Memory

Oct. 27, 2014 - The first human trials in epilepsy patients are expected this month in seven U.S. hospitals of a 256-channel brain stimulator by Medtronic, Inc. that is capable of recording, analyzing and stimulating. The research is part of a four-year Pentagon project to explore creating "prosthetic memory" for brain-damaged or demented patients, Restoring Active Memory. (Washington Post)

Nonprofit Research Center Wins Award

Oct. 25, 2014 - At the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center was recognized by the publisher of the Neurotech Business Report newsletter with a Golden Electrode Award for being the most valuable nonprofit in neuromodulation research in 2014. The center was recognized for its translational research in neuroprosthetics, neurorehabilitation, and implanted devices. (Cleveland FES Center)

Cardiologists Weigh Results of Clinical Trials of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure

Oct. 15, 2014 - According to a presentation at the annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, the ANTHEM-HF study met one primary endpoint by increasing the left ventricle ejection fraction, but the safety issues did not appear to be convincingly delineated. ANTHEM-HF was a prospective, multicenter study evaluating the effects of vagal nerve stimulation on various outcome parameters in 60 patients with advanced heart failure. In addition, the randomized, sham-controlled trial NECTAR-HF showed no objective difference from right-vagus-nerve stimulation after six months. More results of vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure should be seen in one to two years from INOVATE-HF, a study that is currently enrolling and will have approximately 650 patients. (Medscape)

Bioelectronic Innovation Challenge Fund Announced

Sept. 30, 2014 - GSK announced a $5 million Innovation Challenge Fund in bioelectronic medicine, for development of solutions for its previously announced Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge, which carries a $1 million award. Any tools or technologies developed through the fund and the Innovation Challenge's winning entry will be made freely available to the global research community. The application period for ICF funding is open and ends in the end of November. (Fierce Biotech)

Randomized Controlled Prospective Clinical Trial Demonstrates More Suppression of Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy with Spinal Cord Stimulation Than Medication Alone

November 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert van Dongen, MD, PhD, has co-authored a two-center randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) with best medical treatment, vs. best medical treatment alone, for lower limb pain from painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Of 22 patients trailed for SCS, 17 progressed to permanent implant and a control group of 14 patients received best medical care alone. Treatment success after six months was observed in 59% of the SCS patients and 7% of the patients who had received best medical treatment alone. The researchers also measured pain severity, pain interference with daily life, pain characteristics, health-related quality of life, pain interference with sleep, sleep quality and quantity, mood, and registered medication use at each followup. (Diabetes Care)

In Vitro Study: Slow-acting, Reactive Processes Constrain Neuromodulator Capacity to Suppress Network Synchrony

Oct. 23, 2014 - Researchers in Israel studying the tendency of networked cortical cells to return to synchrony over many hours (beginning at approximately 12 hours) after prolonged exposure to a cholinergic agonist write that the need to suppress synchrony might require periodic withdrawal of cholinergic input, such as what occurs naturally during non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. Their data were obtained using a feedback system and cultured neurons. (BMC Biology)

Physicians Express Concerns About Timely Access to Care

October 2014 - Three pain physicians in Florida write that insurance authorization for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has changed to require face-to-face psychological screening rather than filling out a questionnaire due to concerns prompted by some "financially motivated physicians" about proper patient selection, care, and referral to permanent implants (that left some patients who experienced good pain relief with SCS trials not receiving permanent systems). They add that although early recognition of the need for SCS will minimize future use of narcotic pain medication, potentially saving money and allowing a return to work more quickly, they fear that wait times for SCS (that average more than 5 years in the U.S.) will grow even longer because of stricter criteria from insurers, long wait times for authorization and a decrease of 70 - 70% in reimbursement. They say that in contrast, the average wait time for SCS is one to two years in European countries that have nationalized health care. (Anesthesiology News)

Abstract: External Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Migraine Duration, Severity

Oct. 23, 2014 - In an abstract from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, a preliminary report on 30 patients who had migraine without aura showed that a single application of electroCore’s noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, completely resolved 44.8% of migraines within 30 minutes, and lessened an additional 11.4% of patients' attacks by 2 hours.  (BusinessWire)

Patients of Different Pain Durations Showed Similar Success Rates in Small Study That Included a Period of Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 21, 2014 - A comparison of pain suppression in 49 patients with an average pain duration of 9.6 years who had been undergoing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for at least 6 months, and tried burst mode for two weeks, suggest that "the duration of pain is not an exclusion criterion for SCS and that similar success rates can be obtained for longstanding pain and pain of more recent onset." (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Explores Impact of Frequency in Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 21, 2014 - A study of burst spinal cord stimulation in 15 patients with failed back surgery syndrome showed no added benefit when the frequency was increased from 500 to 1000 Hz while keeping the total delivery of current to the spinal cord constant (five electrical pulses delivered at 500 Hz with 1000-μsec pulse width 40 times per second, vs. five spikes at 1000 Hz with 500-μsec pulse width 40 times a second.) (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Author Sets Forth Data for Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Responsive Neurostimulation

September/October 2014 - Comparing available data on outcomes of vagus nerve stimulation in medically refractory epilepsy and responsive neurostimulation presents a challenge in defining which patients would preferentially benefit from one or the other treatment, and how to best treat them with the stimulation, according to a commentary entitled, "Responsive Neurostimulation: The Hopes and the Challenges." (Epilepsy Currents)

INS Members Publish Summary of First Comprehensive Neurostimulation Guidelines

October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jason E. Pope, MD, Stanley Golovac, MD, Simon Thomson, MD and Timothy Deer, MD, have published a special report summarizing the findings of the the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (touch Neurology)

Article Examines Progression of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Therapy

Oct. 20, 2014 - A news feature about transcranial magnetic stimulation said it is firmly established as a depression treatment, and research is turning to other uses, from migraines to Parkinson's disease to post-traumatic stress disorder. (Stuff.co.nz)

Neurostimulation Device Fabrication Methods Move Toward More Compact Systems

Oct. 20, 2014 - An article on vapor-deposition biocompatible coatings for neurostimulation devices claims neuromodulation therapy is becoming more readily accepted and mentions future energy-harvesting systems that will keep devices going from body heat, vibration, or radiofrequency waves. (MDT Design)

University Researchers Create Transparent Neural-Interface Electrode Array

Oct. 20, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have demonstrated in preclinical work a clear flexible graphene-based, carbon-layered electrode array, transparent to visible light and intended to  stimulate and record evoked response. The device was developed with funding from the Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The researchers' work is published in Nature Communications. (University of Wisconsin-Madison News)

Subject of Real-Life Spy Flim Speaks Out About Treatments for Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 15, 2014 - A retired CIA agent whose subterfuge to arrange for six U.S. diplomats to escape Iran in the 1980 hostage crisis became the basis of the movie Argo revealed he was suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease during the 2012 promotional tour. In an interview in the Washington Post, he said he turned to deep brain stimulation to help with his motor symptoms, although he still has unpredictable episodes of pain. He disclosed his diagnosis in conjunction with a symposium by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. (Today Health)

TV Segment Features In-Depth Look at Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery at a U.S. Academic Center

October 2014 - In a TV segment, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD presents deep brain stimulation, following physicians into the operating room at the University of Florida and explaining the role of the therapy to help manage effects of some neurological disorders. (CNN)

Materials Scientists Are Developing Dissolvable Medical Implants

Oct. 14, 2014 - University of Illinois researchers in Champaign-Urbana are working with transient electronic sensors patterned on ultra-thin pieces of silicon (with a 20- to 100-nanometer thickness) that can dissolve in a matter of weeks when implanted. They hope to find a way to actively trigger dissolution. (EE Times)

Deep Brain Stimulation Recipient Raises Funds for Parkinson's Disease Causes

Oct. 14, 2014 - The former assistant coach of the Predators, Brent Peterson, said his deep brain stimulation surgery in 2011 for Parkinson's disease was "very tough" but ended up being "really good" since he is not in a wheelchair and can move. With encouragement from Michael J. Fox to take constructive action, he started the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's to raise money for awareness and education, has raised more than $400,000 since 2007. (Daily News Journal)

Columnist Presents the Option of Deep Brain Stimulation in Refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 14, 2014 - A columnist who is a clinical psychologist and researcher points out that deep brain stimulation may be an option for severe treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. (Huffington Post)

Show Looks at Gains in Adapting Spinal Cord Stimulation for Post-Injury Functional Rehabilitation

October 2014 - In the "Next Big Thing," epidural stimulation to restore movement to spine-injured people is presented. The research takes place at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. (CNET)

Regional Award to Acknowledge Public Benefit of Federally Funded Brain-Stimulation Technology

Oct. 13, 2014 - Transfer of technology to the medical device company Brainsway through a license from the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke is being acknowledged with a regional Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. The award recognizes a potential for substantial impact on public health, and will be presented Nov. 19 at an event for the Mid-Atlantic region of the consortium. The technology is being used to create deep transcranial magnetic stimulation systems, which have been FDA-approved for use in medication-resistant depression. (Nasdaq)

Neurosurgeons Publish Deep Brain Stimulation Guidelines for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sept. 23, 2014 - The American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons have published a new guideline in Neurosurgery after assessing seven studies deemed high-quality that report research about deep brain stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder. To date, bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus and nucleus accombens was shown to improve symptoms by around 36% in clinical trials. However, the authors say different subgroups, such as hoarders, may respond to different targets. (Medical News Today)

Study: An Artificial Arm with the Sense of Touch Has Permitted Recipients to Undertake Complex Tasks

Oct. 13, 2014 - According to a study in Science Translational Medicine two amputees who had under-the-skin wires and nerve electrodes implanted more than a year ago in their prosthetic arms to mimic a sense of touch performed such everyday activities as pulling a stem off a cherry or chopping wood. Healio reported on a news release on the topic from Case Western Reserve. (New York Times)

BRAIN Grant to Support Research into Using Nanoparticles for Neuromodulation

Oct. 10, 2014 - A research proposal by a research associate at Rockefeller University is one of 58 to receive the first grants from one of four federal agencies through the U.S. BRAIN initiative, the NIH announced. The $1.26 million grant over three years will support research into combining nanoparticles with radio waves or magnetic fields to turn neurons on and off. The approach might also be used to better understand the function of groups of cells, and would have the advantage of being able to access hard-to-reach cells or dispersed groups of cells. The molecular genetics researchers involved have termed this approach "radiogenetics". The BRAIN initiative is intended to ultimately create a dynamic brain map of neural circuitry. (Rockefeller University)

Foundation Aims to Expand Study into Stimulation that Restored Some Motion to Paralyzed Patients

Oct. 9, 2014 - The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is hoping to raise $15 million to enable 26 patients with partial spinal cord injuries to participate in research into functional electrical stimulation at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Four initial participants recovered some movement in the lower half of their body and improved cardiovascular and respiratory function. (People)

Report Discusses Current Neurostimulation Practice Updates Recommended by an International Neuromodulation Society-Convened Panel

October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President-elect Tim Deer, MD, was interviewed by Pain Medicine News about the issuance of the first comprehensive guidelines on neurostimulation for pain and ischemic disease, which appear in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface following work by the INS-appointed Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. He said updates to current practice include recommendations about thorough infection control and bleeding measures, as well as recommendations about credentialing. (Pain Medicine News)

Registration Opens for the North American Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting in December

October 2014 - Registration has opened for the 18th annual scientific meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). The NANS meeting takes place from Dec. 11-14, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, USA. (North American Neuromodulation Society)

Television Show Highlights How Veterans Have Benefited from Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 7, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Maughon, MD, was quoted in a newscast about veterans using spinal cord stimulation, saying that worker's compensation studies show the therapy cost breaks even by the third year, and also that when veterans are taken off pain medications, their suicide rate goes down -- although no similar studies have been done in the general population. (WBRC)

Magazine Lauds Improved Spinal Cord Stimulator as a Breakthrough

Oct. 7, 2014 - Popular Mechanics profiles an athletic young woman with complex regional pain syndrome who is a patient ambassador for Boston Scientific Corporation in an article about the advantages of its spinal cord stimulation device with multiple independent current control, which she received last spring to manage pain in her foot and leg, replacing a previous model. The article calls the more precise targeting of nerve fibers an innovative achievement. (Popular Mechanics)

Foundation Funds Research into On-Demand Brain Stimulation to Address Gait Freezing

Oct. 6, 2014 - Research funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation's program to improve or explore neuromodulation for Parkinson's disease will address gait freezing through on-demand stimulation to both the globus pallidus interna and the pedunculopontine nucleus -- which are hypothesized to be the gait "gas pedal" and "brake," respectively. (Michael J. Fox Foundation)

University to Open a Parkinson's Disease Research Center

Oct. 6, 2014 - The University of Michigan received a 5-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke to become a Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, with a focus on the brain's cholinergic system and its role in gait and balance. As part of the center, the co-director of the university's deep brain stimulation program will lead an education and outreach effort. (Phys.org)

Patient Gets Rare Malaysian Deep Brain Stimulation Implant

Oct. 4, 2014 - Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) is rarely done in Malaysia due to its cost, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre performed its first DBS surgery Sept. 26 on a patient who has had Parkinson's disease since 2004 and had developed side-effects from the medication. The 67-year-old patient received some government funding. The surgeon said DBS is more cost-effective since reliance on medication is generally gradually reduced. He added DBS has a success rate of 80% and is superior to best medical treatment in improving quality of life. (The Star)

Researchers Receive Grant to Develop Electrodes to Sense Brain Neurotransmitters

Oct. 4, 2014 - The Mayo Clinic's Neural Engineering Laboratory received a $2.5 million grant to detect neurotransmitter release in the brain using diamond-coated electrodes and signal processing algorithms. The coated electrodes should provide durability and sensitivity over time. The grant was part of a first wave of investments from the U.S. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which totaled $46 million. (Yuma News Now)

Survey Finds Functional Connectivity of Brain-Stimulation Targets

Sept. 29, 2014 - Looking at correlations in spontaneous brain activity shown in a database of MRI images, researchers have shown that deep brain stimulation affects brain circuits in higher brain regions, and the maps of those effects match maps showing effects of non-invasive brain stimulation for 14 different conditions, from Parkinson's disease to dystonia and Tourette syndrome. The authors of this analysis of functional connectivity data believe it will suggest stimulation approaches for more conditions. (Medical Daily)

Researchers Pursue a Variety of Implants to Augment Lost Vision

Sept. 29, 2014 - An article describes different implant locations and powering systems for retinal prostheses under development. (The Scientist)

Brain Scans Find Differences in Inhibitory Neurotransmitters in Patients with Tourette Motor Tics

Sept. 25, 2014 - A tic disorder specialist hopes to test the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation in Tourette syndrome, reasoning that the stimulation may boost GABA that would dampen the propensity for tics. This theory is supported by the recently reported finding in Current Biology that GABA is elevated in the supplementary motor area of brains of teens who have Tourette syndrome, compared to those who don't. (Everyday Health)

Preclinical Work in Neuroprosthetics for Paralysis Demonstrates Real-Time Control of Gait

Sept. 24, 2014 - Researchers who are planning a clinical trial with closed-loop robot-assisted stimulation in paralyzed patients report success in a rat model using a self-adjusting computational system so that electrical pulse width, amplitude and frequency need not be manually adjusted in real time for each individual. The animals showed fluid, precise movement in more than 1,000 steps, including climbing stairs of varying dimensions. This development of closed-loop epidural electrical stimulation to feed electric currents to sensorimotor circuits, appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine. (Medical Xpress)

Medical Center in Germany Will Offer Visual Prosthetic System

Sept. 23, 2014 - EBS Technologies' Next Wave device to restore a degree of vision in conditions such as stroke, glaucoma, traumatic brain injury and some other diseases will be available at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The device consists of an EEG cap and special goggles that provide optical and electrical stimulation, and an EEG amplifier linked to the goggles. The process involves stimulating the retina while energizing the optic nerve to send signals to the brain. (Medgadget)

Small Study Documents Advantages of Electrical Current Steering in Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 23, 2014 - A Netherlands-based study of directional current steering in deep brain stimulation in eight patients with Parkinson's disease provided Class IV evidence that steering using the 32-contact electrode was well-tolerated and increased the threshold for side effects, increasing the therapeutic window by up to 1.5 mA. (Neurology)

Physicians Report European Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Cervical Dystonia

September 2014 - A sham-controlled clinical trial in 62 patients with cervical dystonia who received deep brain stimulation showed that three months of active pallidal neurostimulation reduced symptoms of dystonia more effectively than sham, although 16 patients had serious adverse events, generally related to the device or the implant procedure. The multicenter study, funded by Medtronic, Inc., was reported by 33 co-authors, including members of the INS German chapter Wilheim Eisner, MD; Marcus Pinsker,MD; and Karl Kiening, MD. (The Lancet)

Article Describes Program to Develop Small Devices That Might Modulate Organ Function

Sept. 19, 2014 - An article compares tiny next-generation neuromodulation devices that are envisioned by the ElectRx program, which is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to a smart pacemaker that would assess conditions and fix vital organs with stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function -- giving a boost to the body's natural processes of monitoring the status of organs and managing how they respond to disease The device might be used to treat inflammatory conditions and others, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and even depression. (Mail Online)

Clinical Trial Starts to Investigate Deep Brain Stimulation in Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Sept. 18, 2014 - The first patient has been enrolled in a six-patient clinical trial of deep brain stimulation in a type of dementia called Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Because the cognitive impairments fluctuate in the condition, it is believed the "hard wiring" functioning on days when symptoms are worse could be aided by electrical stimulation to the area that has degenerated in the condition, the nucleus basalis of Meynert. (University College London)

Company to Launch Its Latest Brain-Mapping Device That Uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sept. 18, 2014 - A next-generation device that combines transcranial magnetic stimulation and electromyography for presurgical mapping in neurosurgery will be launched at two meetings in October. The Nexstim NBS 5 will be showcased at the 6th International Symposium on Navigated Brain Stimulation in Neurosurgery, Oct. 10 - 11 in Berlin; and at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 64th Annual Meeting from Oct. 18 - 22 in Boston. (PR Newswire)

Company Plans to Present Data About Preventive Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Cluster Headache

Sept. 17, 2014 - ElectroCore announced that presentations this weekend at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress in Copenhagen will include data from its PREVA study, a randomized, multi-center trial across several European countries, which showed that preventative use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation can reduce the frequency of cluster headache attacks by 43.4% versus the current standard of care, which resulted in only a 12% reduction. (EIN News)

Spinal Cord Stimulation May Enhance Drug Delivery to Ischemic Tissue

Sept. 15, 2014 - Researchers who theorized an improvement in oxygenated blood supply would facilitate enhanced delivery of the scheduled therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas report that in seven patients in a preliminary study, spinal cord stimulation during reirradiation and chemotherapy was associated with clinical improvement and longer survival than previously reported in this condition. (Integrative Cancer Therapies)

General-Practitioner Publication Features Guidance About the Role of Neuromodulation

Sept. 15, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Secretary Marc Russo, MD, and INS member Nick Christelis, MD, write in a publication geared to general practitioners in Australia a perspective on the role of neuromodulation in pain management. Indications for spinal cord stimulation, they say, include spinal cord stimulation include failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathic pain, chronic peripheral ischaemic pain and refractory angina pectoris. (Pain Management Today)

Comparative Study Shows Benefit of Combined Sacral Neuromodulation and Drug Therapy

Sept. 15, 2014 - A research team reports in Urology Journal that a three-month study comparing sacral neuromodulation with antimuscarinic medication to medication alone showed greater benefit from the combined therapy in 240 women with idiopathic overactive bladder. (medwire News)

Pilot Study Proposed of Deep Brain Stimulation in Combat Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sept. 10, 2014 - A U.S.-based research team proposes a Phase I clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the basolateral amygdala to address post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, based in part on results in a rat model of the condition. The pilot randomized controlled trial will have a blinded, staggered onset of stimulation. (Trials)

Violinist With Essential Tremor Receives Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 11, 2014 - A former violinist with the Lithuania national philharmonic orchestra received a deep brain stimulation implant to treat her essential tremor in Tel Aviv. She played the instrument during surgery to help pinpoint the correct stimulation, and said it was a shame she didn't know about the surgery previously, having had to stop performing years ago. (Jerusalem Post)

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Clinical Trial Comes to Long Island

Sept. 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Snyder, MD is participating at his Long Island practice in the multicenter SENSE™ (Subcutaneous and Epidural Neuromodulation System Evaluation) clinical trial of that compares spinal cord stimulation alone, and in combination with peripheral nerve field stimulation, for the treatment of chronic low back and leg pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. (EIN Presswire)

Cancer-Related Neuropathies Affect More Than One-Third of U.S. Cancer Survivors

Sept. 4, 2014 - The Neuropathy Association released an info graphic for Pain Awareness Month that explains the impact of cancer-related neuropathy, which affects more than on-third of the 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S. (The Neuropathy Association)

Newspaper Profiles International Neuromodulation Society President

Sept. 8, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, describes his passion for ensuring access to appropriate neurostimulation treatments in a newspaper profile highlighting his work. He started an NHS pain service more than 20 years ago after being introduced to neurostimulation in the 1980s in Australia. “People with chronic pain are more at risk of depression and social isolation," the article quotes him as saying. “Often, they can feel they are passed from pillar to post, with very little answer to what is actually causing their agony.” (Echo)

Deep Brain Stimulation Pioneers Honored with Lasker Award

September, 2014 - The 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award goes to Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD and Mahlon DeLong, MD, whose research helped to elucidate neural circuits involved in movement disorder and demonstrate brain targets for treating motor disorder through deep brain stimulation, which has been provided to more than 100,000 patients worldwide. (Lasker Foundation)

Psychiatrist Anticipates More Use of Neurostimulation in Psychiatry

Sept. 5, 2014 - Neurostimulation can alter both neurochemicals and aberrant neuronal activity and is likely to become more common in psychiatric treatment, according to a question-and-answer column with a psychiatrist who favors its use the treatment paradigm. He said activity of the brain is as much electrical as it is chemical, and neurostimulation poses the advantage of being somatic and non-systemic. (Psychiatric Times)

Florida Patients Have More Access to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Sept. 4, 2014 - A Florida psychiatrist who added transcranial magnetic stimulation to his practice describes how it exerts an effect by polarizing areas of the limbic system. His first patient says in an interview that the therapy leaves her feeling clearer and more revitalized, in combination with counseling. She said it had been a last resort since she could not relieve the depression she felt since childhood with medications. (USA Today)

Researchers Visualize Neuronal Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sept. 4, 2014 - Researchers in Germany have published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences work that shows for the first time, in cats, high-resolution imaging of the fleeting effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the cortex. The time-sensitive images were captured by using voltage-sensitive dyes anchored in cell membranes. The dyes fluoresce when neurons are activated or inhibited. (Medical Xpress)

INS President Speaks Out About the Evolution of Pain Management During His Career

Sept. 3, 2014 - In an interview publicized during Pain Awareness Month, International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, describes the importance of listening to patients and his efforts to continually challenge the concept that chronic pain will always have a physical cause to be repaired through surgery. (Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals)

Los Angeles-Area Medical Center Offers Recently Approved Neurostimulation Device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sept. 3, 2014 - The first medical center in Los Angeles to offer the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation system as a neurostimulation option for obstructive sleep apnea is Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). The device received FDA approval in April. (USC News)

MIT Bioelectronics Group Works on Nanoparticle Transducers and Flexible Polymer Probes for Optical Stimulation and Electrical Sensing

Sept. 3, 2014 - A materials science professor at MIT and her research team members are pursuing creation of flexible polymer probes that have been demonstrated to optically stimulate the spinal cords of mice whose neurons were altered to respond to light, as well as magnetic materials that might be injected into the brain to serve as a transducer for neural stimulation. The work is inspired by recent findings indicating that diseases that were previously not considered to have a neurological basis, such as diabetes, hypertension and infertility, may be treated with neuromodulation by employing bioelectronic medicine. (Phys.org)

Pilot Study Demonstrates Brain-to-Brain Transmission of Coded Information

Sept. 3, 2014 - By encoding letters of words into a binary code represented by a series of motor images, scientists have transmitted two simple four-letter words recorded with non-invasive brain-monitoring -- an electroencephalogram -- in one subject and received through non-invasive brain stimulation -- robot-assisted, image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) -- in three other subjects. Recipients sat with eyes and ears covered and received TMS stimulation to their visual cortex. The transmissions were perceived as bright lights in their peripheral vision, with the location of the light indicating its binary code (1 or 0). The data were transmitted from the sender's system to the receiving study subjects over a distance of 5,000 miles via the Internet. (CNET)

Dystonia Patient Shows Progress After Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 2, 2014 - A 9-year-old boy has made progress since his deep brain stimulation one year ago for generalized dystonia. He can now independently feed himself, drink from a cup, and stand unaided. (CBS-Denver)

 Epilepsy Patient Receives Closed-Loop Vagus Nerve Stimulation Implant

Sept. 2, 2014 - A man in the UK who has had up to 60 epileptic seizures per day between ages 7 months and 40 years became one of the first people in the country to add, as an adjunct to his anti-seizure medication, use of the AspireSR implant, which delivers vagus nerve stimulation to deter a seizure upon sensing a change in heart rate. Since he has seizures even while asleep, the automated sensing and response is helpful to him. (Express)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improved Function and Reduced Symptoms in Heart Failure Clinical Trial

Sept. 1, 2014 - The Cyberonics, Inc. ANTHEM-HF (Autonomic Neural Regulation Therapy to Enhance Myocardial Function in Heart Failure) open-label trial of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), conducted at multiple centers in 60 patients who had moderate to severe heart failure and impaired heart function, indicate the treatment is safe, improves the heart's ability to pump blood, and reduces symptoms associated with chronic heart failure, according to data presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting that was concurrently published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure. Stimulation of either the right or left vagus nerve appeared to help patients achieve changes in cardiac function. While the right vagus nerve had been believed to provide more of a baroreceptor impact, the left vagus nerve may be easier to access, and surgeons are used to working on that side for implanting other cardiac devices. Presenters said the left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 32.4% to 37.2% after six months of vagus nerve stimulation system treatment. (MedPage Today)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial Does Not Show Remodeling in Heart Failure, Misses Primary Efficacy Endpoint

Sept. 1, 2014 - Boston Scientific reported at the European Society of Cardiology meeting that the primary efficacy endpoint was not reached in its vagus nerve stimulation clinical trial carried out in 96 New York Heart Association Class II-III patients who had heart failure and an ejection fraction of less than 35%, the NECTAR-HF (NEural Cardiac TherApy foR Heart Failure) trial. After six months of treatment, blinded echocardiography showed no reduction in left ventricular end systolic diameter. Control patients begin to receive active therapy after six months of randomization, with all patients followed through 18 months to assess the safety endpoint. Despite no significant effect on cardiac remodelling or functional capacity, treatment did result in significantly improved symptomatic scores in quality-of-life metrics. (Medlatest)

Authors Review Studies of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Learning, Behavior, Memory, and Motor Control

Sept. 1, 2014 - Psychology researchers at the University of Queensland have reviewed an escalating number of studies utilizing transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to understand cortical substrates of behavior. The authors review its application in cognitive and motor training, its use to understand neuronal activity underlying perception, learning and memory (such as fluctuations in frequency and phase), and suggest how key methodological issues might be addressed. (Cell)

Benefit of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy Shown in First Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Aug. 29, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Kaare Meier, MD, PhD, Harold Nijhuis, MD, Wim Duyvendak, MD, Thomas Enggaard, MD, PhD, and colleagues report the first multi center randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in medically refractory painful diabetic neuropathy. Sixty patients with lower-extremity pain were enrolled. After six months, patients receiving SCS plus best medical practice had average visual-analogue-scale pain intensity scores drop from 73 to 31. Patients who did not receive SCS remained at their baseline level of pain intensity, 67, during the six-month followup. (Science Direct)

Consensus On Benefits of Constant Current Over Time in Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2014 - Although epilepsy treatment has already embraced constant-current deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices, there has been little reporting of constant-current DBS devices in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. The results of a consensus meeting sponsored by the Parkinson Alliance are reported by International Neuromodulation Society member Jay Shils, PhD and colleagues. They determined that since impedance varies considerably between patients and over time and encapsulation can occur, it makes sense that all new devices will likely use constant current even if, given the potential benefits, it will be unlikely that there will be many head-to-head comparator trials. Safety will not be impacted and science supports the use of constant current even if data are lacking. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Small Study Indicates Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Boosts Memory in Healthy Subjects

Aug. 28, 2014 - Enhancing functional connectivity and plasticity in the hippocampus of 16 healthy volunteers through five daily sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation allowed the study subjects to improve memory-test scores by 30%, according to research at Northwestern University that appears in this week's issue of Science. (BBC News)

After Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Healthy Volunteers Reduced Appetite and Food Consumption

Aug. 28, 2014 - Eight daily sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in 14 healthy volunteers led to a 14% reduction in caloric intake from a buffet and lower appetite scores, according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has launched a clinical trial on the effects of tDCS on weight. (Newsweek)

Brain-Mapping Study Indicates Trade-Offs in Boosting Cognitive Scores

August 2014 - Neuroscientists who conducted brain-mapping at the University College London on areas responsible for numerosity and duration judgments report in the Nov. 15, 2014 issue of NeuroImage that while transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improved performance in one task, it impaired performance in another. They write, "application of anodal tDCS to the left-PPC and cathodal tDCS to the right-PPC . . . increased accuracy in the numerosity judgement task and impaired accuracy in the duration judgement task, while application of anodal tDCS to the right-PPC and cathodal tDCS to the left-PPC . . . increased accuracy in the duration judgement task and impaired accuracy in the numerosity judgement task." Their findings agree with the theorem that the parietal cortex may be the primary site for common neural processing of magnitudes in the different dimensions of time, space, and quantity. However, rather than support the general consensus that neuron firing-rate is affected globally by electrical stimulation, their findings show the modulation can be selective. (Science Direct)

Defense Agency Starts a Bioelectric Medicine Program

Aug. 27, 2014 - "Like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker" is how a a program manager from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency describes a potential future means of managing a number of challenging medical conditions through precise modulation of the peripheral nervous system. The research program, ElectRx, would develop closed-loop systems that provide stimulus patterns that help maintain healthy organ function. (Medical Design Technology)

Therapy to Undergo Evaluation as Adjunctive Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Aug. 25, 2014 - Up to 74 combat veterans will be recruited for a double-blind study of external trigeminal nerve stimulation as an adjunctive therapy in post-traumatic stress disorder at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study, funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, will use devices provided by the emerging company NeuroSigma, Inc. (Drug Discovery & Development)

Evolving Science of Neuromodulation Described in News Release About First Comprehensive Consensus Guidelines

Aug. 25, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert Foreman, MD, described synergies between basic and clinical pain-therapy research in a news release about the publication of neurostimulation guidelines from the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)

Elderly Do Not Have Significantly More Complications From Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Aug. 25, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand P. Lad, MD, PhD and colleagues retrospectively reviewed 1,757 patients who underwent deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease between 2000 and 2009, and in a multivariate analysis, found patients older than 75 years showed a similar 90-day complication risk compared with younger counterparts. (JAMA Neurology)

Metropolitan Newspaper Covers INS Member's Public Presentation on Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kathryn Holloway, MD responded to questions from the public at a seminar in Richmond, VA about deep brain stimulation, Parkinson's disease, specific symptoms, timing of therapy, research and the presence of other conditions. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Expert Ponders Path Forward for Neuromodulation for Fecal Incontinence

September 2014 - In an article listed as most-read, "Neuromodulation in an Era of Rising Need and Cost: A Time for Multifaceted Consideration," a German surgery professor and expert in coloproctology notes that posterior tibial nerve stimulation offers moderate benefit as a fecal incontinence therapy and might elicit broader acceptance of more-invasive methods such as sacral neuromodulation. He questions how access may evolve, such as who should assess needs and deliver such therapies and what the expense may be. The author calls for "the guidance and support of the relevant professional societies" to approach the issue broadly beyond any particular commercial interest. (Diseases of the Colon and Rectum)

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Details Presented

Aug. 21, 2014 - The Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee's first comprehensive guidance on the use of neurostimulation in chronic pain is reported in the online, multi-disciplinary publication Phys.org. The coverage includes details about complications and their avoidance, as reported in the peer-reviewed findings of the committee in the Aug. 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Phys.org)

First Cluster Headache Patient Receives Sphenopalatine Ganglion Neurostimulator

Aug. 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in a story about the first implant of the Autonomic Technologies, Inc. neurostimulator that is undergoing a clinical trial in the U.S. in cluster headache patients. The device stimulates the sphenopalatine ganglion beneath the cheek in the upper jaw when a patient uses a hand-held controller to elicit stimulation when a cluster headache starts. Dr. Rezai said the main advantage of neurostimulation is that "it's reversible and adjustable, and you're just modulating and blocking the pain signals." (Medical Xpress)

Study Indicates External Vagus Nerve Stimulation May Hold Promise for Helping Treat Heart Failure

Aug. 20, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Leeds have published in Brain Stimulation that transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation may have benefits for heart health through reducing sympathetic nerve activity. They studied externally applied stimulation to the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (distributed to the skin of the ear) in 48 healthy subjects, resulting in increased heart rate variability. They postulate that indication of increased parasympathetic activity may suggest a potential intervention for conditions such as heart failure. (University of Leeds)

Commentary Notes Advantages and Concerns About Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Medication-Resistant Migraine

Aug. 19, 2014 - Occipital nerve stimulation effectively relieves medication-resistant chronic migraine for more than one year, providing good or excellent headache relief, although a high rate of adverse events remains a concern, according to a research highlight about a randomized controlled trial with 157 subjects. (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Resumes Classical Music Career

Aug. 17, 2014 - A concert violinist received deep brain stimulation in 2009 for essential tremor at the Mayo Clinic in an operation that included his playing a violin during the procedure with a bow equipped with an accelerometer to check the effectiveness of target stimulation. He returned to play with the Minnesota Orchestra within weeks. (CNET)

Neurology Group Updates Guidelines for Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy

Aug. 18, 2014 - The American Academy of Neurology has updated its evidence-based guideline concerning vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of epilepsy, saying it "may be considered progressively effective in patients over multiple years of exposure," and improvement in mood may be an additional benefit in adults with epilepsy, while overall, it may be considered an adjunctive treatment for children with partial or generalized epilepsy. (Clinical Neurology News)

FDA Calls for Workshop on Brain-Computer Interfaces Aimed to Augment Movement of Patients

Aug. 18, 2014 - In November the FDA will hold a workshop on brain-computer interfaces to discuss scientific, clinical and regulatory considerations of neuroprostheses under development to aid movement of paralyzed patients or amputees. That discussion could influence draft guidance. (The Gray Sheet)

Mice Showed Gains in Post-Stroke Recovery With Optogenetic Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2014 - A Stanford University research team has shown that stimulating the motor cortex in mice using optogenetics allowed the animals to improve their recovery from stroke, even five days afterwards. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors hope to identify which brain circuits might be most amenable to post-stroke intervention in a potential future human clinical trial. (BBC News)

Canadian Firm Works on Sleep Apnea Medical Implant

Aug. 16, 2014 - Canadian-based Ergoresearch Ltd. announced a $590,000 royalty payment to its medical device subsidiary Victhom Laboratory Inc. represents "a strong validation" of a neurostimulation approach to obstructive sleep apnea completed by its partner Otto Bock Healthcare. The technology records and stimulations peripheral nerves, delivering therapy only when necessary. Further royalties may be forthcoming if the device is commercialized. (Sleep Review)

Article Describes Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia

Aug. 15, 2014 - An article about deep brain stimulation for dystonia says it has been a gold standard for relieving symptoms for some patients since becoming available about a decade ago. (WWSB)

Article Highlights Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Findings

Aug. 14, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MD, was interviewed for a news feature about work of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee that resulted in the first comprehensive peer-reviewed guidance for neurostimulation therapy, which appears in this month's issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The article cites the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the therapy, pointing out that the co-authors are addressing "current gaps related to this treatment modality". (Medscape)

Burglars Take Chronic Pain Patients' Investigational Neurostimulation Controller

Aug. 14, 2014 - A woman who was participating in a clinical device trial has lost the patient controller that allowed her to switch between stimulation parameters for her spinal cord stimulator implant, when the remote control was stolen along with other electronics during a residential burglary. News reports said her controller was only one of three in her country. She said she has endured massive spasms of pain since the burglary two weeks ago, missing sleep and cutting back hours at work. (New Zealand Herald)

Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface Publishes the First Comprehensive Neurostimulation Guidelines

Aug. 12, 2014 - The  Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, comprised of 60 experts convened by the International Neuromodulation Society (INS), publishes the first comprehensive guidance on the use of neurostimulation for chronic pain and ischemic disease in the August 2014 issue of the official journal of the INS, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Newswise)

Medical Center to Offer Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Aug. 11, 2014 - The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will be offering deep brain stimulation to certain patients who have obsessive compulsive disorder through an FDA Humanitarian Device Exemption, which generally enables patients to seek insurance coverage for the procedure. (Post-Gazette.com)

Public Media Program Features Boston-Area Research Into Brain Stimulation and Decision-Making

Aug. 7, 2014 - The Boston public radio station features reporting about research into decision-making and brain stimulation. An application of the research may be to help veterans with traumatic brain injuries who have difficulty weighing cost-benefit decisions, according to one researcher interviewed who is studying stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. (WBUR)

Children's Hospital Adds Sacral Neuromodulation Capability

Aug. 8, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Steven Teich, MD was interviewed about a new pediatric sacral neuromodulation implant service offered by the Surgical Neuromodulation Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The interview concerned the case of a 16-year-old Northern California girl who had had to use a permanent tube in her abdomen to flush her digestive system with a saline solution in an often-painful and time-consuming process. The news coverage says the device "addresses communication problems between the brain and the nerves that control bowel and bladder function." For an average patient, it may take 6-12 months to have the colon begin functioning more normally. (WFMZ-TV)

Article Sees Bright Future for Electrical Implants

Aug. 7, 2014 - An article about the newly emerging field of electroceuticals mentions a recently approved neurostimulation device for obstructive sleep apnea (as well as other neuomodulation products under development) and predicts, "Within a decade or two, electrical implants could treat a wide range of common conditions." (Newsweek)

Researchers Identify Possible Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease Stimulation Target

July 30, 2014 - Microelectrode recordings may help optimize the location of deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson's disease, with the beta-band frequency peaks that are enhanced by the disease being recorded and weighed together to map neuroanatomical variability in patients in an off-medicine state, serving as a biomarker for the location of the subthalamic nucleus sensiorimotor neurons, according to a study of 20 patients over more than two years of follow-up. International Neuromodulation Society member Damianos Sakas, MD, PhD and co-authors validated this hypothesis by showing a statistically significant difference in maximum peaks in 9 patients who responded well to deep brain stimulation versus 11 who did not; saying that the putative biomarker could provide intra- and post-operative support in optimizing stimulation of the therapeutic target. (IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics)

Article Considers the State-of-the-Art in Neuromodulation Methods

July 15, 2014 - An overview of therapeutic neuromodulation describes current and emerging methods of stimulating or inhibiting neurons, and concludes that there is a trend toward multimodal neuromodulation. The authors say electrical neural stimulation "remains the gold standard" in clinical use but "the days of using just electrical stimulation on its own may be numbered." (Frontiers in Neuroengineering)

Sinus-Cavity-Based Stimulation Device is Under Consideration as a Potential Approach to Treating Alzheimer's Disease

Aug. 5, 2014 - Wedge Therapeutics, a privately held medical device development company in St. Paul, Minn., acquired technology for minimally invasive brain stimulation using a sinus cavity device, a sphenoid and olfactory nerve stimulation system (SONS), in 2013. To explore its potential application in treatment for Alzheimer's disease, the company is currently seeking investment and industry partnerships. (Business Wire)

Intrathecal Baclofen's Role in Regulatory Circuits Investigated

August 2014 - International Neuormodulation Society members Damianos Sakas, MD, PhD, and Stylianos Gatzonis, MD, are among the co-authors of an article describing the impact of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) on a neuropeptide, orexin-A, that is implicated in regulation of processes that include arousal and reward. The orexin-A levels in the cerebrospinal fluid went down in nine individuals who received ITB for hypertonia, such as spasticity associated with dystonia. (Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology)

Review Examines Deep Brain Stimulation in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

August 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, MD, PhD, contributed to a review article about deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The article reviews 25 studies involving 99 patients and five different DBS targets, noting 200 individuals have received DBS for medically refractory OCD since 1999. The authors conclude that for treatment-refractory OCD, DBS seems relatively safe and promising although no superior target was identified, and more research is needed to personalize treatment of severely affected individuals. (BioMed Central)

Report Describes a Possibly New Stimulation Target for Medically Refractory Headache

July-August 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Chandan Reddy, MD, has co-authored a case report of what may be the first published report of stimulation to the great auricular nerve to treat medically refractory post-traumatic headache. (Pain Physician)

Neuromodulation is Called a Third Treatment Domain for Some Conditions

Spring 2014 - An article about non-invasive electrical stimulation for medically refractory depression or other conditions calls neuromodulation a "third domain" in addition to medicine and psychotherapy for treating difficult psychiatric conditions. (U Magazine)

Article Reviews Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Studies in Addiction

July 28, 2014 - In a review of 19 studies involving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and addiction to tobacco, alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine, a group of psychiatric researchers conclude that the currently experimental treatment appears to show promise. (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)

New Mode of Magnetic Stimulation Studied for Mood Disorders

July 28, 2014 - Low field magnetic stimulation appears to have an immediate effect on mood in study subjects with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, according to double-blinded research published in Biological Psychiatry involving 63 volunteers. The stimulation was administered with a portable, tabletop device designed by the study author. (Harvard Gazette)

Column Considers Challenges of Adding a Neuromodulation Device to a Psychiatric Practice

June 2014 - Adding a transcranial magnetic stimulation device to a psychiatric practice calls for skills not introduced during initial medical education, as well as ongoing device support and industry interaction, balancing business considerations with impartial assessment of clinical need, say guest columnists in an editorial in an issue of Psychiatric Annals focused on therapeutic neuromodulation. (Psychiatric Annals)

Woman Seeks Insurance Coverage for Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor Related to Multiple Sclerosis

July 24, 2014 - A multiple sclerosis patient who was referred to deep brain stimulation for her tremor plans to appeal the decision by her insurance company to not cover costs of the procedure on the basis of not being medically necessary. (WUSA-9)

Child Who Received Auditory Brainstem Implant Now Notices Sounds

July 23, 2014 - A 3-year-old boy born deaf who became the first of 10 pediatric patients in a clinical trial of auditory brainstem implant therapy is now responding to sounds, two months after his surgery. (The Globe and Mail)

Closed-Loop Neurostimulation Device Maker Participates in Memory Research

July 22, 2014 - The maker of the first, and only, FDA-approved closed-loop responsive neurostimulation system, NeuroPace, Inc., announced its partnership with research teams at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles that are working with epilepsy patients on the Restoring Active Memory Projects of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Digital Journal)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to Be Studied as Adjunctive Therapy in One Type of Childhood Epilepsy

July 22, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health is supporting an open-label trial of external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS) in children aged 8 to 18 as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a challenging form of childhood epilepsy. The study at the Olive View-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Sylmar, CA will involve nightly stimulation using an eTNS device from NeuroSigma, Inc. (Digital Journal)

Neuroprosthetics Researcher to Head Center in Switzerland

July 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, a neuroscientist at Brown University who works on brain-computer interfaces, will direct the new Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering in Geneva. Funded with more than $100 million from a foundation started by Hansjörg Wyss, the center will have more than a dozen labs for research such as neuroengineering and regenerative engineering. (Science)

Parkinson's Patient in the UK Describes Benefits of His Deep Brain Stimulation

July 22, 2014 - In a profile of a Parkinson's disease patient who received deep brain stimulation 13 years after his diagnosis, his neurosurgeon said that relatively few Parkinson's disease patients in the United Kingdom are offered deep brain stimulation due to lack of awareness among sufferers and throughout the medical profession. Also, a representative of the charity Parkinson's UK said disagreements about who should pay may have an impact in some areas. (Express.co.uk)

Early Tests Reported Concerning Steering Technology for Deep Brain Stimulation

July 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Claudio Pollo, MD and colleagues report intraoperative testing of directional deep brain stimulation compared to omnidirectional stimulation in 13 patients with either Parkinson's disease or essential tremor; the first testing of directional stimulation suggested by computed models in humans. They report the therapeutic window was wider in the best direction of stimulation, while the therapeutic current threshold was lower, and call for chronic implantation to further confirm the findings. INS member Alexander Green, FRCS(SN) and Prof. Tipu Aziz published a commentary about this steering technology. (Brain)

Non-invasive Optogenetics Research Advances in Animal Studies

July 17, 2014 - Researchers at MIT are developing a light-sensitive protein in optogenetics research that, in mice, has been shown to suppress neuronal activity non-invasively, with exposure to a light source outside the brain, to a depth of up to 3 millimeters. (AANS Neurosurgeon)

Non-invasive Stimulation Studied to Improve Reasoning, Learning and Memory

July 16, 2014 - The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is funding a a three-and-a-half-year, $12.7 million program, "Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-Solving," SHARP, through a Boston-based contractor, Charles River Analytics. The University of New Mexico (UNM)  and Georgia Tech are partnering to use brain-building games in combination with meditation or mindfulness training and transcranial direct current stimulation to improve memory and problem-solving. Over the months of the training in the study, progress is tracked using fMRI. A researcher at the UNM Psychology Clinical Neuroscience Center said that as the approach is developed, it might become a less-expensive alternative to pharmaceuticals to address mental conditions and try to restore more effective brain function. (Medical Xpress)

Proponent Calls for Cooperation and Collaboration in Brain-Research Efforts

July 14, 2014 - "We need to support and fund every rational strategy that could make headway in our understanding of the brain," says U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in a column responding to an open letter by scientists critiquing the European Union's effort to simulate the brain, the Human Brain Project. (Huffington Post)

$22.5 Million Brain-Mapping Project Will Investigate Boosting Memory

July 9, 2014 - As part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiative on "Restoring Active Memory" scientists and physicians at the University of Pennsylvania will be seeking biomarkers of memory by mapping brain activity of neurosurgical patients with epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease who participate in carrying out memory games as part of the study. In the four-year, $22.5 million project, patients will be recruited at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and six other centers: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Emory University Hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. (Penn News)

Segment Features "Brain Radio" Technology Study

July 8, 2014 - Calling it a "stunning innovation" that is just beginning, a regional television segment features work on recording-and-stimulating brain targets in Parkinson's disease patients, which is being carried out in neuroscience research at Stanford University. The device is referred to as a "brain radio" since it can transmit information about neural activity as well as receive stimulating pulses. (KTVU)

News Feature Surveys Brain Research Providing Insight Into the Functional Basis of Memory

July 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwini Sharan, MD, was quoted in a story about brain recording in epilepsy patients to try to identify seizure origin -- evaluations that can simultaneously provide information about neural circuitry and memory. (New York Times)

Researchers Rule Out Gastrointestinal Transit Rate to Explain Improvements from Sacral Neuromodulation

July 4, 2014 - Small-intestine transit patterns remained steady in patients with diarrhea-predominant or mixed irritable bowel syndrome after four weeks of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) during a small crossover trial at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. The researchers note that SNS helps limit frequency, urge, and time on the toilet and reason those benefits may come from moderating colorectal sensory perception. (Healio)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Pilot Study Planned in Treatment-Resistant Anorexia

July 2014 - A Toronto-based center is starting a clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant anorexia nervosa. The pilot study targets the insula, which plays a role in perception, mood, anxiety and feeding. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Epilepsy Brain-Stimulation Study Finds Switch for Consciousness

July 2, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Washington found that stimulating the claustrum when probing the brain of an epileptic woman for the origin of her seizures led to a temporary, reversible loss of consciousness. At the same time her frontal and parietal brain regions increased synchrony of electrical activity. While the results may not be fully generalizable since she had previously had part of her hypothalamus removed, the researchers believe lower-frequency stimulation of this area may help arrest an epileptic seizure or potentially help with recovery from minimally conscious state. (New Scientist)

NIH to Invest in Organ-System Peripheral Neurostimulation Development

July 3, 2014 - The NIH is expected to announce a $248-million, 6-year electroceuticals project, tentatively called Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC), to map nerves and electrical activity of five yet-to-be-decided organ systems -- a task compared to monitoring passing cars to predict which freeway exits they will take -- and then develop disease-treating, recording-and-stimulation electrode interfaces for them. (Nature News & Comment)

Low-Back Pain Clinical Trial Expands to Belgium

June 30, 2014 - The Belgium Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products has granted Mainstay Medical International plc permission to expand its clinical trial there of the ReActiv8 implantable neurostimulation device for low back pain. The clinical trial started in Australia in March 2014. (Wall Street Journal)

Guidelines for Overactive Bladder Treatment List Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation Third

June 30, 2014 - Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is listed as a third-line therapy for overactive bladder in the recently updated guidelines from the American Urological Association and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction, Uroplasty, Inc. announced. The company is the only manufacturer of a commercially available PTNS system, Urgent® PC. (MarketWatch)

Comparison Study Finds Burst Stimulation More Effective on Average Than Conventional Stimulation

June 26, 2014 - Burst stimulation was preferable to tonic stimulation in 102 patients who received spinal cord stimulation at a center in Belgium or one in the Netherlands. The patients had been receiving conventional (tonic) spinal cord stimulation and were either responders or had stopped responding to tonic stimulation. Of the group that no longer responded to tonic stimulation, 62.5% responded to burst stimulation, with an average pain suppression of 43%. Most responders to tonic stimulation responded further with burst stimulation, with average pain suppression in that group increasing from 50.6% to 73.6%. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

Pilot-Study Results Presented on Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Migraine

June 26, 2014 - Two posters at the American Headache Society meeting in California showed that a sham-controlled pilot study of electroCore's non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy for chronic migraine met its safety endpoint and demonstrated a reduction in headache days for patients using the active device. (Digital Journal)

Sacral Neuromodulation Gains Ground with Increased Funding in the Province of Ontario

June 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD is mentioned as one of two urologic surgeons in Ontario, Canada who provides sacral neuromodulation. An increase in funding from the Ministry of Health means 120 patients a year can now be treated for symptoms of overactive bladder and other urologic dysfunctions. (Toronto Star)

Early Results Reported on New Neurostimulation Lead for Pain Control in Amputees

June 2014 - In a proof-of-concept trial of a peripheral nerve stimulator intended to be less invasive and more flexible and stretchable for use in amputees, 14 of 16 patients experienced significant pain relief in a two-week trial, according to a presentation by International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Rauck, MD, at the 2013 annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society for Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Pain Medicine News)

Review Documents Non-Motor Improvements from Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

June 26, 2014 - A review of the scientific literature by a physician in Britain documents the effects of deep brain stimulation in improving non-motor symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, in addition to motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease, said to be the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. (Medical News Today)

Low-Frequency Stimulation of White-Matter Brain Tracts to Be Investigated in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

June 25, 2014 - A clinical trial starting at the George Washington University School of Medicine in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy will explore low-frequency stimulation of a white matter tract, that includes the fornix, to see if it reduces seizures without unduly impacting memory. In a previous study that used this stimulation mode temporarily in patients being monitored prior to surgery, low-frequency stimulation reduced seizures 92% while activating the hippocampus and other areas of the declarative memory circuit. That study was published in the Annals of Neurology in 2013 by Mohamad Z. Koubeissi MD and co-authors who are members of the International Neuromodulation Society: Emine Kahriman MD; Tanvir U. Syed MD, MPH; Jonathan Miller, MD; and Dominique M. Durand, PhD. (Newswise)

Retrospective Study Fine-Tunes Target for Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

June 25, 2014 - A retrospective modeling study of 21 patients with DYT1-type dystonia who responded well to deep brain stimulation indicates the optimal stimulation target was a region of 135.5 cubic millimeters within the globus pallidus -- a "target within a target". (Medical Xpress)

Television Segment Features Overactive Bladder Treatment

June 24, 2014 - A woman who has received seven of her 12 weekly treatments for overactive bladder using posterior tibial nerve stimulation says she already has stopped having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. The Terre Haute, Indiana clinic where she receives her treatment has just started offering this service. (MyWaboshValley.com)

Tinnitus Patients are Sought for Clinical Trial in Detroit

June 24, 2014 - The Henry Ford Health System in Detroit is recruiting patients with tinnitus for a clinical trial that compares sham treatment to vagus nerve stimulation paired with audio therapy. After six weeks, separate active and sham treatment groups will all receive active treatment. The center is one of four worldwide carrying out the study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. (Newswise)

Child Receives Deep Brain Stimulation to Control Her Dystonia

June 23, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Honeycutt, MD, was interviewed in a television segment about a 7-year-old girl in California who received deep brain stimulation for dystonia. Her procedure was done while she was asleep, and she has been showing improvements that should continue in the months to come. (ABC30)

UK Woman Awaits Word on Request for NHS to Provide Recommended Sacral Neuromodulation

June 19, 2014 - Due to what a local health authority termed  "gaps and inconsistencies," a Nottinghamshire, UK woman who has applied three times for a sacral neuromodulation implant to help her void her bladder over the last three years is still awaiting a response to her third request to the National Health Service. The 29-year-old woman was recommended for the operation by her consultant, who said it could "transform her life," which now involves catheterizing four or more times a day. (BBC News)

Technology Allows Paralyzed Patient to Move Hand

June 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, director of the Ohio State University Neuroscience Program, was interviewed by major news media about the first paralyzed patient to undergo a clinical trial involving technology developed by Battelle research labs to restore motion to a paralyzed hand. The technology enabled the 23-year-old patient to use an implanted microchip sensor and a "sleeve" of electrode stimulators to open and close his hand for the first time since a spine injury from a diving accident four years ago. Dr. Rezai performed the neurosurgery to place the sensor on the patient's motor cortex. The patient is the first of five potential participants in the six-month trial. His participation was described in the Washington Post. (CBS This Morning)

Five-Year Study Shows Significant Benefit of Adjunctive Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

June 23, 2014 - A five-year study of nearly 800 people with treatment-resistant depression showed that in the 494 patients who also had vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) as an adjunct to usual treatment, VNS was safe and resulted in significantly better response and remission rates than usual treatment alone. The data show a 20- to 30-point separation in response and remission between the two groups, according to the observational study presented in Florida at the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology Annual Meeting. (Medscape)

News Show Features Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Who Has OCD

June 23, 2014 - A man with obsessive compulsive disorder is featured in a CNN segment about deep brain stimulation that likens his condition to a "neurological hiccup". The segment follows him through post-operative programming. (CNN)

Injured Former Firefighter Becomes an Advocate for Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 22, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Dr. Timothy Deer explains when to consider spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as an option for chronic pain in a news feature about a former triathlete who eventually found relief for chronic pain through SCS after a sustaining injuries in an accident that required multiple surgeries. The former firefighter was able to return to work and stop taking pain medication. (Scoop San Diego)

In a Small Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, Most Back-Pain Patients Preferred Burst Stimulation

June 19, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Stefan Schu MD, PhD and colleagues report a randomized controlled clinical trial in 20 patients who use spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for failed back surgery syndrome. In random order, for one week, the patients received 500-Hz tonic stimulation, burst stimulation, and placebo stimulation. Sixteen patients (80%) preferred the burst stimulation mode, which overall provided better pain relief and quality of life in the short term of the research study. The authors recommend expanded studies in patients who have not previously received SCS. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Sacral Neuromodulation Offered to Children at Pediatric Hospital

June 17, 2014 - Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio is piloting sacral neuromodulation in children for bladder and bowel control. A 16-year-old girl's case was described in which she had a permanent implant in May. For nine years, she had been unable to attend high school and underwent strictly timed, painful colon flushes that limited her ability to participate in activities. Her doctor said it may take 6 months to 1 year for the colon to begin functioning properly. The center has used the procedure on patients who have a missing or blocked passage for elimination of stool due to congenital imperforate anus. (News-medical.net)

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study in Post-Stroke Pain Indicates Possible Brain Networks Involved

June 17, 2014 - In 14 patients with central post-stroke pain and deficits in thermal perception, five sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation targeted to the motor region for the affected area provided moderate pain relief for up to four weeks post-treatment. The analgesia correlated with improvements in detection of warmth, indicating the treatment mechanism may share circuitry for the processing of noxious and thermal signals, such as the insula and the somatosensory and anterior cingulate cortices. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Health Charity Brings Parkinson's Study of Deep Brain Stimulation to Parliament

June 16, 2014 - Saying "there's still a postcode lottery in the UK when it comes to accessing Parkinson's services," the health charity Parkinson's UK presented a study it funded with the Medical Research Council and the Department for Health on deep brain stimulation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research's summer reception. (Parkinson's UK)

Survey Identifies Factors That Influence Conversion to Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants

June 13, 2014 - A national survey of rates of conversion to permanent spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implants after a percutaneous trial found that relatively younger patients, those who had commercial insurance, and patients who had not previously attempted a percutaneous SCS trial were more likely to convert to a permanent implant. Of more than 20,000 percutaneous trials from 2000-2009 surveyed in the U.S., the overall conversion rate was 41.4%, with the highest rate (44.5%) in the North-Central region and the lowest (36.1%) in the Northeast. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Pilot Study Data Reported Regarding Spinal Cord Stimulation for Heart Failure

June 13, 2014 - The era of device therapy to modulate autonomic tone has arrived, and randomized controlled trials should help to discern the extent of the promise, according to a commentary on a report from the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions regarding 17 heart failure patients who participated in a clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS). With a mean followup of 18 months, the results of the first-in-man trial of dual-targeted high-thoracic SCS for systolic heart failure demonstrated safety and improved symptoms, functional status, left ventricular function and remodeling. (Healio)

Flexible, Wireless, Sensing-and-Stimulating Electrodes to Be Prototyped in Research Collaboration

June 11, 2014 - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has received $5.6 million from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency as part of the agency's Systems-Based Neurotechnology Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program. The laboratory previously contributed to development of Second Sight Medical Products's artificial retina, and in the SUBNETS program will work with Medtronic and collaborate with the University of California, San Francisco; UC Berkeley; Cornell University' New York University; PositScience Inc. and Cortera Neurotechnologies. LLNL plans to use thin-film technology and 3D packaging to develop flexible neural interfaces with hundreds of electrodes that operate wirelessly. (Phys.org)

Friends of Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Seek Funds for Neurostimulation Implant

June 11, 2014 - A woman who seeks an off-label neurostimulation implant to control her chronic face and head pain is the subject of a fund-raising drive to try to raise $72,000 for the procedure. She has had trigeminal neuralgia with attacks almost weekly for five years, possibly related to sinus infections and repeat surgeries. (Missoulian)

Michigan Epilepsy Patients Receive Responsive Neurostimulation Implants

June 11, 2014 - The Grand Rapids, MI-based Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital is one of 10 U.S. centers approved to implant the new NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulation System. The first two Michigan patients received implants there in May to control symptoms of their epilepsy. (Medical Xpress)

Cluster Headache Therapy Results Released

June 10, 2014 - In the 10-center PREVA clinical trial in Europe, after three to four weeks of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy, 45 patients with cluster headache saw their number of incidents decrease by 46.3%. Another 48 patients who were randomized to receive the best available standard of care had a decrease of 12.5%. The stimulation was delivered using the gammaCore device by New Jersey-based electroCore Medical, LLC. (News-Medical.Net)

Florida Television Station Interviews Patient Who Prefers Neurostimulation to Ongoing Painkiller Use

June 10, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Louis Raso, MD, describes the advantages of a newer spinal cord stimulator system that captures back pain without paresthesia to the legs, in an interview that also features a chronic-pain patient who says he benefited from the device. (WPLG)

Study: Adjusting Pulse Width Can Limit Side Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation

June 10, 2014 - Shorter pulse widths may avoid deep-brain-stimulation-related side effects for Parkinson's disease patients, according to a 15-person clinical study in Europe that was announced at the 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm. The Boston Scientific Corporation CUSTOM-DBS study in used its Vercise DBS System, which is undergoing a U.S. clinical trial, INTREPID, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. (MarketWatch

Pennsylvania Women's Health Center to Offer Sacral Neuromodulation

June 9, 2014 - Following training in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Lebannon and London, an obstetrics and gynecology practitioner who joined the Women’s Health Center at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, PA offers sacral nerve stimulation for some cases of treatment-resistant urinary or fecal incontinence. (The Bradford Era)

More Spinal Cord Stimulator Patients Could be Accommodated by Newcastle-Area Clinic

June 6, 2014 - The pain management team at the Royal Victoria Infirmary of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust treats some 600 patients with chronic pain who use spinal cord stimulators, but has room for at least 100 more to be referred by their general practitioner, according to a nurse consultant at the Northeast England facility. (BBC)

Magazine Publishes Experts' Roundtable Discussion of Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 2014 - Pain Medicine News has published roundtable discussion about spinal cord stimulation patient selection, imaging considerations, and advances, which was held by specialists in anesthesiology, neurosurgery, pain medicine and radiology, and moderated by the magazine at the December 2013 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. (Pain Medicine News)

Station Features Tinnitus Patient Who Hopes to Join a U.S. Clinical Trial Involving Vagus Nerve Stimulation

June 4, 2014 - A church choir director hopes to participate in a U.S. clinical trial that combines sound therapy with vagus nerve stimulation, having already found some relief in sound therapy alone. (KFSN)

Researchers in Germany Report an Investigative Brain Stimulation Target for Severe, Refractory Tourette Syndrome

June 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, MD, PhD and co-authors at the University of Cologne Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy report a case series of eight patients with medically intractable, severe Tourette syndrome who were treated with deep brain stimulation in the ventral anterior and ventrolateral motor part of the thalamus to improve motor and emotional stability. Follow-up of up to one year indicated these duel stimulation targets may be a valuable option with a low side-effect profile. (Biological Psychiatry)

Clinicians Demonstrate Benefits of Directional Deep Brain Stimulation

May 30, 2014 - In the first demonstration in humans, neurologists and neurosurgeons in Switzerland and Canada report in the journal Brain that 13 deep brain stimulation patients were involved in an intraoperative double-blind pilot study that showed that when using a smaller, directional electrode for stimulation, 43% less current was required for beneficial stimulation than with omnidirectional stimulation, and the therapeutic window to achieve the stimulation target was 41% wider, although computational modeling indicated the volume of tissue activated was only 4.2 cubic mm in the directional mode, as opposed to 10.5 cubic mm in the omnidirectional mode. (Medical News Today)

Preclinical Study to Enhance Deep Brain Stimulation Identifies Neuronal Role in Stress Response

May 28, 2014 - A study of synaptic modifications in mice, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, might help to refine deep brain stimulation for depression, according to researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. They found that neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex were more excitable in depressed mice, but harder to excite in mice that exhibited resilience to environmental stressors, and plan to look more closely into excitatory or inhibitory factors. (Scientific American)

Future Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Systems Will Need Low-Power Embedded Microprocessors

May 27, 2014 - An electrical and computer engineering professor who heads Rice University's Realtime Neural Engineering Laboratory and is an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine is working on developing deep brain stimulation that uses real-time computer processing to monitor and respond to changes in the brain. He says energy demands from this more precise approach, which should limit unwanted stimulation beyond the target, is one challenge in realizing the advance. (Medical Xpress)

Pioneer in Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Holds Question-and-Answer Session

May 27, 2014 - Jennifer French, executive director of the Neurotech Network, participated over the weekend in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session about her use of a functional electrical stimulation system to stand and transfer after incurring a partial spinal cord injury during a 1998 snowboarding accident. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Deep Brain Stimulation Viewed As Best of Options by Former Wales Rock Musician

May 27, 2014 - A 64-year-old former rock drummer from Wales, Pete Boot, describes how deep brain stimulation earlier this year has restored much of his mobility and should help slow the impact of the Parkinson's disease he has coped with for the past 20 years. (contactmusic.com)

Researchers Look to Light-Converting Nanoparticle to Devise Optogenetics Without Fiber Optics

May 23, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have received a three-year. $900,000 grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program for preclinical studies of "wireless" optogenetics in mice and fruit flies. The researchers will use a new nanoparticle that can convert infrared light to blue light, in lieu of needing fiber optics to deliver a light pulse. (R&D Magazine)

Engineers Publish A Way to Power Microstimulators Wirelessly

May 23, 2014 - A Stanford University electrical engineering team has published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences their results showing that a 2mm-long microstimulator deep within tissue can be powered at what is deemed to be safe exposure levels by using a flat, patterned external charger that causes radio waves to propagate in a focused fashion through tissue. The method was demonstrated in a miniaturized cardiac pacemaker in a rabbit. (R&D Magazine)

Data Analysis: Spinal Cord Stimulation is Superior but Underused for Chronic Pain of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

May 20, 2014 - An analysis of 16,455 patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) from 2000 - 2009 showed that in the 395 who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS), they experienced lower complication rates at 90 days than the patients who underwent lumbar reoperation, and the overall cost at two years was lower. International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand Lad, MD, PhD and co-authors conclude that although previous studies have demonstrated its superior efficacy for FBSS, SCS remains underused and warrants closer consideration for the management of chronic pain in patients with FBSS. (Spine)

Occipital Nerve Stimulation Study Presented at Physician Assistants' Annual Meeting

May 26, 2014 - A poster presented at the American Association of Physician Assistants meeting in Boston described a reduction in the severity and frequency of chronic recurring headaches in a small study of patients receiving occipital nerve stimulation in Indiana. The 17 patients had shown an improvement in symptoms through an occipital nerve block prior to stimulator implantation. The severity of headaches declined in six months from an average of 9 on a 10-point scale to 3.3. (Clinical Advisor)

Portable Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Device Receives Food and Drug Administration Approval

May 23, 2014 - Maryland-based eNeura announced it received FDA approval for its handheld SpringTMS system to relieve pain from migraines preceded by an aura. When users feel a migraine coming on, the mobile magnetic stimulator is held to the back of the head to temporarily depolarize nerve cells in the occipital lobe. Use of the device led to 38% of patients being pain-free within 2 hours of using the device, compared with only 17% of patients in the control group, in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of more than 200 patients. (Mass Device)

Stroke Rehabilitation Study Using Magnetic Brain Stimulation Expands to More U.S. Centers

May 22, 2014 - Use of externally applied magnetic brain stimulation during occupational therapy for stroke rehabilitation helped 80% of patients regain use of their arm and hand, which was 30% more than possible with standard therapy, according to a pilot study of 30 patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The study, which directs the brain stimulation using navigated GPS-like tracking created by Nexstim Corporation, has been expanded after its initial six months to include 12 more centers in the U.S. (PR Newswire)

Journal Article Analyzes Media Coverage of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

May 22, 2014 - Only 8 out of 218 popular news articles about transcranial direct current stimulation mention its possible adverse effects, or advised caution, according to an analysis by researchers at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal, which was published in Neuron. The authors make recommendations for a more balanced public discussion and view of the non-invasive stimulation, which has been presented in some news accounts as a potentially affordable, and even homemade, approach to cognitive enhancement. (Medical Xpress)

Experts Note Significance of Data on Spinal Cord Stimulation Wait Times

May 21, 2014 - Appropriate patient selection and referral to evaluation for spine surgery or pain medicine specialists should help to shorten wait times for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and improve its chance of success, experts commented in an article about a poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine 2014 annual meeting by Drs. Syed Rizvi and Krisha Kumar of the University of Saskatchewan. The poster about SCS wait times examined 437 patients and reviewed data from 443 patients. International Neuromodulation Society member Tim Deer, MD commented, "This information should encourage insurance companies to seek out centers of excellence and try to obtain access to SCS early in the severe nerve pain patient." (Pain Medicine News)

U.S. Woman Recounts Her Positive Experience with Neurostimulation for Treatment-Resistant Migraine

May 20, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member William Rosenberg and his patient were interviewed about neurostimulation therapy in a segment on Kansas City television. The piece reported that after a long search for an effective chronic migraine therapy, his patient received relief through occipital/peripheral nerve stimulation, which was covered by her insurance despite being off-label in the U.S. (WDAF-TV)

Neurostimulation Technologies Are Described as Showing "the Future is Now"

May 20, 2014 - Cyberonics Inc.'s AspireSR vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) system for epilepsy and Cirtec Medical Systems LLC's shrinking active-implantable devices are among the technologies presented in a column about futuristic advances that are already in implementation. The seventh-generation, wirelessly programmable VNS system with seizure response has CE mark approval and may be presented to the FDA with data from a recently completed clinical study. Meanwhile, Cirtec specializes in compact, hermetically sealed components and has provided contract services for neurostimulators targeting the brain, spinal cord, and vision restoration. (Medical Design)

Infant Said to Be Youngest to Receive Auditory Brainstem Implant in U.S. Clinical Trial

May 19, 2014 - A girl slightly less than 1 year old received an auditory brainstem implant in March as part of a clinical trial in the U.S. to investigate using the technology in young children who are not candidates for cochlear implants and never had the ability to hear. In the U.S. the implants are approved for patients aged 12 and older who have lost function of their auditory nerve due to cancer or an injury. The patient in Boston became the youngest to receive the implant as part of the clinical trial. (WBZ-TV)

Essential Tremor Patient Spreads Awareness About Deep Brain Stimulation

May 17, 2014 - A woman who benefited from deep brain stimulation for her essential tremor now gives talks to second-year medical students at Dartmouth College and to patient-support groups. The therapy allowed her to return to her occupation in hospital nursing. (Union Leader)

Neural Prosthetic System Under Development to Aid Movement After Partial Spinal Cord Injury

May 16, 2014 - The NEUWalk project in Europe has received some 9 million euros for research into an implanted microelectrode array that stimulates nerve roots in the spine to aid locomotion. The neural prosthetic system incorporates sensing microelectrodes and microprocessing. Two patients who have partial spinal cord injury are due to receive a tailored version of the device in the summer prior to a potential larger clinical trial. The preclinical version of the technology will be shown at the Sensor + Test measurement fair in Nürnberg, Germany June 3 - 5. The researchers believe such a system may have an application in Parkinson's disease as well. (News-Medical.net)

Technology Publication Features Vagus Nerve Stimulation for High Blood Pressure

May 14, 2014 - Saying it may not be until 10 years that an implantable vagus nerve stimulator system for high blood pressure that was demonstrated in preclinical work is ready, an article in Medgadget points out that the approach is inviting since a renal denervation trial of Medtronic's Symplicity system failed to meet a primary efficiency endpoint in its clinical trial. (Medgadget)

Data Presented Comparing Medical Treatment for Depression With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

May 13, 2014 - A study of 306 patients with major depressive disorder showed that treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation led to 53% reporting no or mild depression, compared to 38% of people on antidepressants reporting similar outcomes after the same length of treatment, according to a presentation at the 167th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. (Time)

Brain Stimulation Study Links Oscillation Frequency With Conscious Awareness

May 11, 2014 - A sleep study with 27 healthy volunteers in Frankfurt, Germany, used transcranial alternating current stimulation (tDACS) during periods of rapid eye movement to induce self-awareness through a lucid dream state that is considered closer to consciousness, in which without awakening, subjects could control the course of their dreams. The authors of the paper in Nature Neuroscience say this is the first time that stimulation (applied between the frontal and temporal regions of the brain at lower gamma frequencies of 25 and 40 Hz) linked, in a causal fashion, synchronous oscillations at that bandwidth to conscious awareness. They believe frontotemporal tACS might help restore dysfunctional brain networks involved in schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder, or help patients overcome post-traumatic nightmares. (Medical Xpress)

Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation Presented at Singapore Meeting

May 9, 2014 - Burst stimulation in spinal cord stimulation was described as influencing the medial pathway and thus helping take away the salience of pain, during a presentation at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists annual scientific meeting in Singapore by one of the developers of St. Jude Medical's Prodigy device, which was approved for sale in Europe in April. At the same meeting,  the immediate past dean of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists' Faculty of Pain Medicine said he is trying to set up a registry for neurostimulation devices. (The Age)

Selective Stimulation of Barofibers Described in Preclinical Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Lowering Blood Pressure

May 8, 2014 - Scientists writing in the Journal of Neural Engineering describe proof-of-concept data from five rats for a vagus nerve stimulation cuff device, with 24 electrodes, designed to address hypertension. The prototype device includes detection and signal processing to sense barofibers and selectively stimulate them to lower blood pressure while avoiding unintentional stimulation effects such as bradycardia and bradypnea. The rats' blood pressure was adjusted to 60% and the effect lasted up to five times longer than the stimulation. (Medical Xpress)

Six-Month Followup Data Presented for Spinal Cord Stimulation Programming Software

May 8, 2014 - In 140 patients who have used the Boston Scientific Corporation Precision Spectra(TM) Spinal Cord Stimulator System for six months to control low back pain, data show significant and sustained pain relief, according to results presented at the World Institute of Pain 7th World Congress in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The system includes 3D software to guide programming of stimulation, and the clinician programmer using this software has now been launched for sale in Europe. Patients with low back pain reduced their 10-point-scale pain scores from an average 7.15 to 2. 93, while those with severe low-back pain reduced their average score from an initial baseline of 8.78 to 3.68. (Wall Street Journal)

Auditory Brainstem Implant Procedure Performed on First Pediatric Enrollee in Los Angeles

May 7, 2014 - The first preschooler has received an auditory brainstem implant in a clinical trial of up to 10 young children who do not have intact functioning cochlear nerves and so would not respond to a cochlear implant. The 3-year-old boy from Montreal was operated on in Los Angeles. After confirming his brain was responding to stimulation of the cochlear nucleus on the brainstem, his physicians plan to turn the implant on in June. The procedure has been used on people who lost hearing due to a tumor or accident, and in non-hearing patients, would be expected to help the auditory system function if it is performed while the brain is still completing its development during early childhood. (Los Angeles Times)

Pilot Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease Shows Progress

May 6, 2014 - A team of researchers centered in Cologne, Germany report in Molecular Psychiatry that after 11 months, four of six patients in a pilot study of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease responded to bilateral deep brain stimulation to the nucleus basalis of Meynert. The Alzheimer's symptoms in these four patients remained stable or improved. The target in the medial forebrain was selected to stimulate release of acetylcholine since Alzheimer's disease is associated with loss of cholinergic neurons in this area that projects to the limbic system, which plays a role in the processing of memories. (WebMD)

Article Explores Popular Interest in Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

May 5, 2014 - Transcranial direct current stimulation is catching the interest of hobbyists interested in pursuing cognitive gains, according to a news feature in Wired magazine. (Wired)

Study: Shorter Longevity for Implantable Pulse Generators Used in Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

May 2014 - Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have evaluated 470 consecutive Soletra implantable pulse generators and found that dystonia patients receiving pallidal deep brain stimulation needed more frequent stimulator adjustments and had a shorter longevity of their implantable pulse generator, compared to patients who received suthalamic and thalamic deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease or essential tremor. (Brain Stimulation)

Enrollment Complete in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

May 1, 2014 - Toronto-based Functional Neuromodulation announced it has completed enrollment of 42 patients in a study of deep brain stimulation in mild Alzheimer's disease. The double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, the ADvance Study, compares stimulation to the fornix with a control group of patients who receive no stimulation for 12 months, after which time the control group patients will also have their stimulators turned on. (NeuroNews)

Dystonia Patient Documents His Treatment Journey to Deep Brain Stimulation

May 1, 2014 - A dystonia patient who received deep brain stimulation to control his symptoms has produced a short film that was submitted to a competition at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Philadelphia. (YouTube)

Study Shows Dopamine Drops When Stimulation is Halted in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

April 30, 2014 - Fifteen patients who had stable obsessive compulsive disorder one year after receiving deep brain stimulation were studied with molecular brain imaging in a study in Biological Psychiatry. The imaging tracked fluctuations in the release of dopamine, which decreased after stimulation was turned off. The results suggest that enhancing striatal dopamine signaling may help relieve treatment-resistant symptoms of the disorder. (Medical Xpress)

Man Who Uses Newly Approved Visual Prosthesis Describes Its Benefits

April 30, 2014 - A man who was one of the first commercial users of Second Sight Medical's Argus II "bionic eye" visual prosthesis described how helpful it is to be able to counteract the impairment of his retinitis pigmentosa by now being able to distinguish between light and dark shapes and see contrasts. That change allows him to navigate his world much better, he said. (Mass Device)

Entrepreneurs Plan a Noninvasive Approach to Cognitive Enhancement

April 30, 2014 - Halo Neuroscience plans to use a range of electromagnetic approaches, including electricity, magnetic fields, infrared light, and radio waves, for its external devices to improve cognition. The company was started by Amol Sarva, PhD and includes former NeuroPace Inc. employees Daniel Chao, MD and Brett Wingeler, PhD. The company received a $1.5 million financing round backed by venture capital investor Marc Andreessen. (The Verge)

News Coverage Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Option in Chronic Back Pain

April 30, 2014 - A special report on using spinal cord stimulation for back pain says it has been around since the 1960s but it has taken off in recent years, is covered by medical insurance, and can be an option a physician might consider in cases of chronic pain. A patient who did not receive relief from repeat back surgery is profiled. (Kiii News)

Community Turns Out to Help a Patient Who Plans to Travel to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation

April 29, 2014 - Friends organized a community event to help raise money for a Parkinson's disease patient who plans to have deep brain stimulation surgery out of town, in Kansas City. For a nominal fee, 300 people donned glow-in-the-dark attire to participate in the event, which included a 1.6-mile race followed by a dance and obstacle course. (Hays Daily News)

Authors Propose Ways to Foster Research into Neurological Devices

April 22, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, and co-authors write in Neurology that "both the structure of clinical trial funding and the current regulation of device research" dissuade "formal and prospective research with novel devices or novel indications". They suggest five remedies, including combining federal grant awards with regulatory approval and providing private insurance for clinical trials. (Neurology)

Pediatric Dystonia Patients Receive Deep Brain Stimulation

April 28, 2014 - A girl who regained mobility after receiving deep brain stimulation for dystonia sat with her mother at a news conference while the doctor described the operation. She was one of six children treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital. (KTAR)

Review: Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Symptoms of Treatment-Resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

April 25, 2014 - Five randomized controlled trials of active vs. sham deep brain stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) through April 2013, comprising 44 subjects, indicate that the treatment had a significantly lower mean score in symptoms, representing partial remission of treatment-resistant OCD. However, there were significant adverse effects experienced in one-third of cases (16). (Psychological Medicine)

Interviewers Assess Impact of Patient's Approach to Being Referred to Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

April 25, 2014 - Researchers interviewed 39 men and eight women who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants at the University Hospital of Northern Sweden between 2002 - 2010, and three additional female DBS patients to achieve a more gender-balanced sample. The results suggest that many patients "have to argue and struggle with their clinicians in order to be referred to a DBS-team," the authors write. They also believe that outlook and approach may contribute to a gender-skewed distribution of treatment. (BMC Neurology)

Combined Cochlear Stimulation and Nerve Growth Factor May Enhance Hearing, Animal Study Indicates

April 24, 2014 - Researchers at the University of New South Wales carried out studies in guinea pigs to see whether gene therapy can maintain the health of auditory nerves to enhance the dynamic range of cochlear implant stimulation while permitting a lower stimulus threshold. In deaf guinea pigs, the team used the phenomenon of electrically opening pores in the nerve cells to introduce naked DNA -- without a viral vector -- that codes for production of neurotrophin. As they report in Science Translational Medicine, the nerve growth factor was seen to influence nerve regeneration, so that the auditory nerve naturally grew toward the cochlea, improving the animals' hearing. (Medgadget)

Responsive Neurostimulation Called a "Welcome New Arrival" for Treatment of Medically Refractory Epilepsy

April 22, 2014 - A two-year followup on the capability to use responsive neurostimulation (RNS) to treat refractory epilepsy indicates, two co-authors write, that "long-term RNS treatment is safe, and that efficacy improves with time. . . . RNS is a welcome new arrival in the armamentarium of epilepsy treatments." (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Retrospective Study Looks at Spinal Cord Stimulation Conversion from Percutaneous Trials

April 23, 2014 - Using data from MarketScan, a database that contains longitudinal patient billing data for 170 million patients from 2000 - 2009, a medical student reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons that 41.4% of U.S. patients had opted for a permanent spinal cord implant after a percutaneous trial. Conversion rates were higher in the North-Central and Southern states as opposed to the Northeast and West. (Medscape)

Magazine Notes Shift in Deep Brain Stimulation Acceptance

May 2014 - A news feature about deep brain stimulation highlights a neurologist-neurosurgeon team who have worked since 2002 in Florida, saying the technique is "one of the most exciting treatments in modern medicine" and "it's easy to imagine a future where brain implants may become as common as hip replacements". (Smithsonian)

Preliminary Findings Presented About Spinal Cord Stimulation System Offering Additional Contacts

April 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Salim Hayek, MD, PhD, presented a retrospective study at the December 2013 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society INS chapter, in which more than 200 patients were trialed with the Boston Scientific Corporation Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulation system. The system allows for up to 32 contacts -- double what was previously available. Prospective and comparative effectiveness research studies have begun, and data from a three-month followup of 32 patients showed a drop in average pain score from 7.05 to 2.96. INS member Tim Deer, MD, was quoted as commenting that the three-month findings are interesting but a cost analysis and prospective data would provide more information. 

Profile of a Stanford University Professor Recaps Milestones in Optogenetics and Brain Mapping

April 21, 2014 - A feature in the New York Times describes the development of optogenetics, and profiles one contributor to its development, the Stanford University Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD. The article is one of four news features about brain mapping that the newspaper has published in the past year, and it also mentions brain-mapping work that his team presented at the November 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. (New York Times)

Husband and Wife with Chronic Pain Both Benefit from Receiving Spinal Cord Stimulators
April 18, 2014 - A husband and wife in Indiana who are in their 50s both had spinal cord stimulation systems implanted for chronic back pain and can now live more active lives and continue working. Their provider said the effects of neuromodulation are among the most dramatic in his pain practice. (News-Sentinel)

Korean Charity Agrees to Help Finance Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Children with Medically Refractory Epilepsy

April 17, 2014 - A charity group in South Korea agreed to provide support so that children with drug-resistant epilepsy can receive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to limit their seizures. Up to 25 patients will be supported each year, with priority to families that cannot afford medical care. The commitment will be for up to 2 million won (approximately $2,000 in U.S. dollars) in medical bill coverage per patient. The agreement was formalized in a memorandum of understanding between a medical society, the Korean Child Neurology Society, and a charity group, the Supporters Society for Korea Parents of the Disabled Association. Since April 2013 the charity group has already enabled eight pediatric patients to receive VNS implants. (Korea Times)

News Feature Describes Deep Brain Stimulation to Manage Symptoms of Movement Disorder

April 15, 2014 - In a news feature for Parkinson's disease month, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine neurosurgeon Jeffrey Cozzens, MD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, is interviewed about how some 80-90% of patients who meet criteria to receive deep brain stimulation to control tremors notice some improvement, even though the disease itself can still progress. Having performed more than 350 of these surgeries over the years, he remarked that these patients are his happiest and thrilled to "get their lives back". (Devils Lake Journal)

Profile Features Patient Who Received Robotic-Assisted Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

April 15, 2014 - In a profile of a patient who received robotic-assisted deep brain stimulation surgery for essential tremor, a physician explains that the technology allows patients to be able to move a little and be more comfortable during the surgery, as well as shortening the time it takes to perform. (Florida Times-Union)

Article Centers on Importance of Training in Reducing Implant Risk

April 15, 2014 - A presentation submitted to an upcoming medical meeting by International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand P. Lad, MD concerns data from 12,300 insurance claims for spinal cord stimulation implants that indicate almost one in 100 cases show some degree of spinal cord or spinal nerve-root damage, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. INS member and journal Editor-in-Chief Robert M. Levy, MD, PhD was attributed to say that uneven training across medical specialties and a perception that such implants are easy to perform is often at the root of surgical complications. Among other sources, the article also quotes INS member Gilbert Fanciullo, MD, director of pain medicine at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, about the importance for practitioners to be familiar with implantation risks. (Wall Street Journal)

Primary Head Pain Case Series Examines Combined Occipital and Supraorbital Stimulation

April 15, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shannon Hann, MD, presented a case series at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons 82nd Annual Meeting in which 14 of 20 patients with medically refractory primary headache found pain relief of more than 50% through combined neurostimulation of occipital and supraorbital nerves over a mean followup of 34 months. Patients with facial pain developed allodynia and had to have the systems removed. She said the combined stimulation bears further investigation and on average appears that it may be more effective than occipital stimulation alone. (Medscape)

Urologists Stage Debate Regarding Overactive Bladder Treatment Options

April 14, 2014 - In a urology meeting debate concerning treatment with botulinum toxin or sacral neuromodulation for overactive bladder, sacral neuromodulation advantages mentioned included that it can enhance voiding and defecation, which may also present problems in these patients. (European Association of Urology)

Spinal Cord Stimulation in Four Spinal Cord Injury Patients Enables Voluntary Movement After Complete Paralysis

April 9, 2014 - Spinal cord stimulation allowed four people with paraplegia to move previously paralyzed muscles, according to a news release by the National Institutes of Health, which partially funded the study along with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The research (also covered in the Wall Street Journal and other publications) was published Tuesday in the journal Brain. "Neuromodulation of the sub-threshold motor state of excitability of the lumbosacral spinal networks was the key to recovery of intentional movement," the authors write. (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. National Radio Broadcast Features Essential Tremor

April 7, 2014 - A woman who had deep brain stimulation for essential tremor 15 years ago was featured in a radio broadcast about the condition. She said she cried when stimulation was first applied and quoted her tremors, which have returned to a small degree but do not interrupt her life anymore. (NPR)

Restrospective Study Indicates Electrode Placement Affects Outcomes of Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation

April 4, 2014 - Twenty-seven authors of a retrospective analysis of 309 patients who received deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for Parkinson's disease in France report in Neurology that the STN is the best target to control motor symptoms, postoperative cognitive deficit is mainly related to the surgery itself, and hypomania induced by stimulation in 19 cases appears to stem from both the disease characteristics (younger age, shorter disease duration, higher levodopa responsiveness) and a more ventral location of the electrode in the STN. (News-Medical.Net)

Vanderbilt Research Into Early-Stage Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Enters Pivotal Clinical Trial

April 3, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, and Joseph Neimat, MD, of Vanderbilt University are part of a long-term study of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early-stage Parkinson's disease, which has moved into a large Phase III, multi-center safety and efficacy trial. (Vanderbilt)

Former Radio Host Expresses Gratitude for Access to Deep Brain Stimulation for his Parkinson's Disease

April 2, 2014 - A former resident of the U.S. who stopped hosting a radio show after developing Parkinson's disease describes in a radio interview how he got up out of a wheelchair and strolled down a hall after his deep brain stimulation implant was activated. He said he was grateful that the government in Canada covered the cost of the therapy, voicing concern that it might have been costly for him to try to obtain in the U.S. (CBC Radio)

Pain Physician Helps Chronic Pain Patient Regain Quality of Life in Australia

March 31, 2014 - In anticipation of a public pain day on April 13, 2014 in Hobart, Australia, a patient is featured who eventually found relief after receiving a spinal cord stimulator implant for chronic pain 12 years after a rare abdominal bleeding condition, portal vein thrombosis, at the recommendation of a pain physician. She said the device lowered her pain 80% and within 24 hours wanted to stop her opioid medication. (The Examiner)

Review Details Expanding Uses of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

May 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Teodor Goroszeniuk, MD and co-author David Pang, FRCA write in a review of peripheral neuromodulation that new technologies for more easily and safely placing electrodes percutaneously should further expand its uses; in addition to intractable headache, uses include neuropathic, visceral, cardiac, abdominal, low back and facial pain. Also under extensive investigation is its use in modulating organ function in treatment of syndromes such as epilepsy, incontinence and obesity with vagal, tibial and gastric stimulation. (Current Pain and Headache Reports)

Study Presented About Heating of Conditionally Safe Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads During MRI Full-Body Scans

April 2, 2014 - Medtronic Inc.'s principal electrical engineer, Heather Orser, PhD, presented a poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting in March regarding safety of a new full-body, conditionally MRI-safe spinal cord stimulation lead. Based on animal data and simulations of lead paths in human models -- combined with lead characterization analyses -- the results showed that the design for reduced radiofrequency-induced heating produced temperatures below 43º C for the full range of scenarios during 30 minutes of active scanning. (Healio)

Florida Hospital Uses Robot-Assisted Surgery for Implanting Deep Brain Stimulation Electrodes

March 31, 2014 - The Baptist Health medical center in Jacksonville, Florida has begun using the Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System to perform bilateral deep brain stimulation. A patient who received the procedure for his essential tremor described how the implant helps control his symptoms. (First Coast News)

Researchers Watch Neuroplastic Response of Brain Networks to Cortical Stimulation

March 31, 2014 - Researchers in Japan combined repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and diffusion-weighted MRI to observe plasticity-related changes in brain regions that are affected through neural networks by the stimulation, but are not themselves stimulated. (Medical Xpress)

Girls Promote Epilepsy Awareness and Discuss Vagus Nerve Stimulation

March 28, 2014 - A student who received a vagus nerve stimulator two years ago to help control her epileptic seizures, and her younger sister, participated in an annual worldwide Purple Day campaign to raise awareness by telling of their experiences with the condition. The young woman has gone three months without a seizure and would like to be eligible for a driver's learning permit if she goes six months seizure-free. (Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Study: Disparities in Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

March 2014 - An examination of  2.4 million discharges for Parkinson's disease from 2002 - 2009, conducted through hierarchical multivariate analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, showed that although 4.7% of all Parkinson's disease discharges were of African American patients, only 0.1% of the Parkinson's disease discharges among African Americans were for deep brain stimulation (DBS), indicating a disparity in access to this care. The study authors say that even though African American patients are more often discharged from urban teaching hospitals with a higher-than-average density of neurologists, the patients received disproportionately fewer DBS procedures than their non-African American counterparts. (JAMA Neurology)

Fibromyalgia Study Links Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Improved Quality of Life

March 26, 2014 - In a small, double-blind study in France, 38 fibromyalgia patients either received sham stimulation or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left primary motor cortex. After 14 stimulation sessions over 10 weeks, the patients were assessed for quality of life. In addition, PET scans were periodically performed throughout the treatment period. The study found that patients receiving active stimulation reported an improved quality of life and also had an increase in metabolism in the right limbic area. The study authors report in Neurology that the study provides Class II evidence for effectiveness of the intervention. (Health Day)

U.S. Patient Describes Her Heart Failure Symptom Improvement with Vagal Nerve Stimulation Device

March 24, 2014 - A woman who is controlling heart failure symptoms with investigational use of a CardioFit (TM) vagal nerve stimulation device by BioControl Medical is interviewed on Florida television. (WJXT - Jacksonville)


Motor Cortex Stimulation Shown to Improve Training in Controlling Robotic Arm through Brain Interface

March 24, 2014 - Collaborators at the University of Tubingen and National Institutes of Health report that training healthy subjects to use a brain-machine to control a robotic arm went better with electrical stimulation to the primary motor cortex than in a control group that did not receive that stimulation. As a follow-up, the procedure will next be tested in stroke patients. (Medical Xpress)

First Patients Begin to Receive New Responsive Neurostimulation System for Epilepsy

March 24, 2014 - Epilepsy specialists and patients discuss use of NeuroPace's RNS System and the advantages of responsive neurostimulation in controlling seizure activity, compared to the previously available option of continual vagus nerve stimulation. (New York Times)


Auditory Brainstem Implants May Slowly Become Less Rare

March 24, 2014 - More investigation in Europe in patients with congenital disease or trauma led to exciting results that spurred expanded interest in the U.S. for auditory brainstem implant which has been performed about 1,000 times worldwide in the last 30 years. Centers experienced in removing acoustic neuromas -- one main reason to seek the intervention -- may offer the technology. The capability is now offered in Northern Ohio at the University Hospital Case Medical Center and at the Cleveland Clinic. The House Clinic in Los Angeles developed and honed the procedure and performed the bulk of implantations in the U.S. (Cleveland.com)


Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation Technology Receives CE Mark Approval

March 20, 2014 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced CE Mark approval and European launch of its spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system, Prodigy™, that offers both tonic and burst stimulation for expanded therapy options. The rechargeable SCS system is subject to a U.S. clinical trial, SUNBURST™ (Success Using Neuromodulation with BURST). (St. Jude Medical)


Implants That Sense Neural Signals are Leading to Understanding of Brain Circuits

March 19, 2014 - Deep brain stimulation systems that can read out neural signals are contributing to studies into patterns that correlate with different symptoms of Parkinson's disease, potentially leading to creation of more tailored, responsive neurostimulation regimes. (Nature)


Retrospective Study Ranks Which Specialists Refer Chronic Pain Patients to Spinal Cord Stimulation the Soonest

March 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Krishna Kumar, MD said in an interview about a retrospective study of 532 patients who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that while SCS should be considered within the first 12 - 16 weeks of chronic pain (prior to changes occurring within the brain) to improve success rates, referrals varied by specialty, with neurosurgeons on average referring after 2.69 years, and orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiaiologists referring after 4.30 and 4.84 years, respectively. (Medscape)

Woman with Auditory Nerve Damage First in Northeast Ohio to Receive Auditory Brainstem Implant

March 13, 2014 - A woman who lost hearing due to benign tumors received an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. In an announcement, a medical school professor was quoted as saying the effectiveness of ABI is limited. After the device is turned on in 6-8 weeks, she will undergo rehabilitation therapy to maximize the benefit of the additional sense of sound provided by the device. She was the first in Northeast Ohio to receive an ABI. Her surgeons consulted with the Los Angeles-based House Ear Clinic, which has performed the bulk of these surgeries nationally since their development in the 1970s. (Newswise)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Helps Man's Chronic Knee Pain

March 13, 2014 - A 42-year-old man who has suffered more than 16 years of knee pain due to accidents and osteoarthritis, considered too young to receive a joint replacement that may last only 20 years, was given a peripheral nerve stimulation implant after a successful trial. This was considered an uncommon application of the fairly common pain intervention. (Chicago Tribune)

Research Funding Announced for Study of Brain Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation

March 13, 2014 - The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has given a $1.5 million grant to a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Brain Plasticity Lab to compare gait training with or without brain stimulation in patients who have experienced a stroke. The neuromodulation treatment group will receive transcranial direct current stimulation in advance, and electrical stimulation in combination with motor training of the ankle. The investigator will also use MRI to see if there were any changes in cortical activity associated with the therapy. (Phys.org)


FDA Approves Device For Preventing Migraine Attacks

March 11, 2014 - The FDA announced it has given its first approval to a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device meant to be used prior to the onset of pain -- the Cefaly headband-like device that stimulates the trigeminal nerve above the eyes. Designed to prevent migraines by being used daily for 20 minutes, the device is available by prescription, and may help patients who cannot tolerate migraine-prevention medication. Approval was based on a clinical study of 67 individuals in Belgium who experienced fewer migraines through its use, as well as a study of 2,313 users in France and Belgium, 53% of whom said they were satisfied and willing to buy the device for continued use. Cefaly is manufactured by STX-Med in Herstal, Belgium. (FDA)

Cardiologist Describes Neurostimulator Undergoing Clinical Trial in Heart Failure

March 11, 2014 - Patients who are not making progress having given current treatment a chance would be potential candidates for heart failure treatment using an implanted neurostimulator to treat the parasympathetic nervous system, a cardiologist says in a question-and-answer section accompanying an article about the first patient in Florida to receive the CardioFit™ nerve stimulator in a U.S. clinical trial of the device, which is approved for marketing in Europe. The device from Biocontrol Medical combines a sensor in the heart and stimulator on the vagus nerve. (Ivanhoe Newswire via WWSB)

High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Study Publishes Data from Two-Year Follow-up

March 11, 2014 - Twenty-four months of results were published in the March 2014 issue of Pain Medicine regarding a prospective European clinical study of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation for chronic, refractory low-back and leg pain. In the study of Nevro Corp.'s Senza system, back pain was reduced from an initial 8.4 out of 10.0 to 3.3, and leg pain was reduced from 5.4 out of 10.0 to 2.3. Of 82 patients trialed, 72 went on to permanent implants and 65 were available for a two-year follow-up. In addition to reduced pain, patients reported increased function, better sleep, and decreased opioid use. Adverse events resembled those seen with traditional spinal cord stimulation. Senza is authorized for sale in Europe and Australia, supported by European data published in Pain Medicine and in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface in 2012. In the U.S., the system is undergoing a pivotal randomized controlled clinical trial, with enrollment completed one year ago of 241 patients at 11 pain treatment centers. (PR Newswire)

Patient Recruitment Starts in Australia for Clinical Trial of Novel Back-Pain Stimulator

March 10, 2014 - Australia has cleared Mainstay Medical to begin a clinical trial of an implantable neurostimulation device for chronic low back pain, ReActiv8, which stimulates nerves that contract key muscles that stimulate the lower back. Patient recruitment has begun at three clinical trial sites in Australia. In June 2013, Mainstay presented results at the world congress of the International Neuromodulation Society regarding the company's recently concluded European Feasibility Study. (Medical Device Business Review)

Pain Registry Provides Evidence for Neuromodulation Therapy

March 7, 2014 - The Partnership for Advancement in Neuromodulation has published interim results of its pain registry in early view in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The data from 579 patients at 40 study sites showed patient-reported pain relief was 58% at three months, 58% at six months, and 57% at 12 months. Slight more than 47% of patients stopped or decreased opioid use, while smoking was shown to significantly attenuate pain relief. (MDLinx)

Retrospective Analysis Indicates Spinal Cord Stimulation Success Increases When Started Within Two Years

March 6, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Krishna Kumar, MD, presented a poster at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine showing that in 443 patients with chronic pain, those who waited less than 2 years for spinal cord stimulation had a 75% success rate, compared to 15% for patients who waited 20 years,  (American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Clinical Trial Starts That Pairs Audio Tones and Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Reduce Tinnitus Symptoms

March 6, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health is starting a study that pairs vagus nerve stimulation and exposure to audio tones to try to reduce symptoms in patients who have moderate to severe tinnitus. The vagus nerve stimulation, provided by a device manufactured by MicroTransponder, Inc., is supposed to help re-wire the brain in response to the audio stimulation that is intended to reduce the perception of ringing in the ears that occurs in tinnitus. The clinical trial at four U.S. centers involves daily 2.5-hour sessions over six weeks. (Health Day)


Physician Describes New Experiences with Auditory Brainstem Implants in Children

March 4, 2014 - An interview, an implanting physician describes the intricacies of new work in the United States with auditory brainstem implants for children who lack the neural structures for a cochlear implant. Three pediatric patients have been implanted so far by Craig Buchman, MD, professor of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who directs the university's Ear and Hearing Center. (Ivanhoe Newswire via My Suncoast)


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Research Indicates Greater Plasticity in Brains of Insomniacs

March 4, 2014 - A research study comparing the ease of training insomniacs on a motor task to controls suggests that insomniacs may have a more-plastic brain. The study used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the motor cortex to trigger a thumb movement. Subjects were asked to learn to counter the movement. Although it was hypothesized that insomniacs would be less-rested and do more poorly, they surprisingly did better, suggesting there is an association between this plasticity and "dysregulation of arousal" seen in insomnia. Potentially TMS might be used to treat insomnia, according to the author of the study at Johns Hopkins University. (Live Science)


Texas Medical Center Initiates Study of Emerging Deep Brain Stimulation Target in Treatment-Resistant Depression

March 4, 2014 - A clinical trial is starting at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in which five adults with treatment-resistant major depression will receive deep brain stimulation to the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle, part of the brain's reward system between the limbic system and prefrontal cortex, an area that showed promise in a Bonn-based pilot study in seven patients in which preliminary findings were published in June 2013. (Newswise)

Concern About Medicare Distinctions Potentially Curbing Research into Deep Brain Stimulation

March 3, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, and co-authors point out that a centralization of Medicare reimbursement policies for investigational medical devices, instituted in January 2014, offers two investigational device exemption categories, neither of which balances well reflecting potential therapeutic risks of applying these devices to emerging targets and indications while also being conducive to investment in development of these therapies. (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Deep Brain Stimulation Associated with Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in Parkinson's Disease Patients

March 3, 2014 - A comparative post-mortem tissue examination of the brains of individuals without Parkinson's disease, those with Parkinson's disease who did not receive deep brain stimulation (DBS), and 12 patients who had idiopathic Parkinson's disease and received deep brain stimulation from 0.5 - 6 years before dying of other causes showed that there was a 2-6 fold greater cell proliferation in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles, an area of neural stem cell growth that lies close to the electrode trajectory, in the brains of the subjects who had DBS. The results suggest DBS may increase cellular plasticity, potentially in areas beyond the electrode location. The effects on Parkinson's disease symptoms and therapy are not clear. (PLoS ONE)

Effects of "Asleep" Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Comparable Over Time to "Awake" Method for a Common Parkinson's Disease Brain Target

March 3, 2014 - Of 213 patients who received deep brain stimulation surgery targeting the subthalamic nucleus for management of Parkinson's disease symptoms while under general anesthesia, 188 were followed up after one year and 65 after five years. The resulting short-term and long-term motor effects were similar to intervention under local anesthesia, the authors state, and there were no more adverse effects. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)

Researchers Describe Early-Stage Neurostimulation Research in Anorexia Nervosa

March 3, 2014 - The start of a Phase II trial of deep brain stimulation in anorexia nervosa, is described by Toronto-based researchers who have implanted 15 adults with chronic, treatment-resistant, or malignant cases of the eating disorder. Based on experience tracking response in depression to stimulation of the anterior cingulate, the team is focusing on the subcallousal cingulate of the anterior cingulate, noting that mood appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of anorexia nervosa. Another six patients have been enrolled and were awaiting surgery. (Psychiatric Times)

Biological Chemist in Munich Publishes Research Papers on Potential "Light Switches" for Sensory Processing

March 2, 2014 - A biological chemist has developed a light-sensitive compound, DENAQ, that acts on specific ion channels in response to white light, which has allowed it to restore light-sensitivity in the eyes of blind mice. The research on electrophysiological remodeling of mouse retinal ganglion cells was published Feb. 19, 2014 in Neuron; in Angewandte Chemie on Feb. 12, 2014, his research group showed that the painkiller fentanyl, when modified with an azobenzene unit, will bind opioid receptors and change shape when exposed to different frequencies of light, activating or deactivating receptor function. (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Study: Intensity, Not Area, of Spontaneous Neuropathic Pain Linked to Quality of Life

March 1, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kaare Meir, MD, PhD and colleagues in Denmark studied 26 chronic pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation, measuring both the area of spontaneous neuropathic pain and the pain intensity. The study found a correlation in increased quality of life with decreased pain intensity, but not with decreased area of spontaneous pain. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

External Brain Stimulation Elicited Brief Increase in Awareness in Brain-Injured Patients

Feb. 26, 2014 - Using low-level transcranial direct current stimulation that makes neurons more or less likely to fire, a clinical research team was able to elicit briefly increased levels in awareness in 15 of 55 study subjects who had shown fluctuating awareness ("minimally conscious state") or an ability to be aroused but not aware (vegetative state). In the crossover trial published online in Neurology, patients received 20 minutes of active or sham stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex one day, and then crossed over to sham or active stimulation, respectively, the next. The responders included 13 brain-injury patients who were in minimally conscious state and 2 who had been classified as being in a vegetative state. (New Scientist)

Chronic Pain Advocacy Organization Re-emerges

Feb. 20, 2014 - The National Pain Foundation has re-emerged as a nonprofit organization, having transferred its assets to the American Pain Foundation in 2010, which disbanded in 2012. The National Pain Foundation announced a goal of creating a "digital footprint" of people in pain, their behaviors, treatments, and needs -- through online communities, surveys and forums. (Pain Medicine News)

Neurostimulation Technique for Chronic Migraine to be Offered at Arizona Facility

Feb. 20, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Carlson, MD, will be offering a peripheral nerve stimulation technique for chronic migraine in the Phoenix, Arizona area, according to a news release from the Migraine Treatment Centers of America. (Digital Journal)

Presentation Recaps Advantages of Brain Stimulation During Stroke Recovery

Feb. 20, 2014 - Stroke patients who receive brain stimulation and occupational therapy recovered more than twice the arm and hand movement six months after their stroke than those who received occupational therapy alone, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014. (Clinton Herald)

Authors Give Overview of Neuromodulation Approaches in Cocaine Addiction

March 2014 - Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), deep rTMS, and deep brain stimulation are discussed as possible interventions for cocaine dependence in an article that also suggests potential genetic markers for risk and objective treatment outcome measures. (Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment)

Researchers Look at the Role of Inflammatory Mediators in Response to Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Major Depression

Feb. 18, 2014 - Animal research and evaluations of patients who received deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression indicate that immediate symptom relief is mediated by local inflammation, suggesting that post-surgical analgesics that are not anti-inflammatory would be preferable, say researchers from the University of Cadiz, Spain. They are trying to discern the molecular effects in case the therapeutic effect can be replicated less invasively. In May 2013, the team published findings in Molecular Psychiatry, "Early responses to deep brain stimulation in depression are modulated by anti-inflammatory drugs". (Medical News Today)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Headache Reviewed

Feb. 14, 2014 - In a review, the current evidence for peripheral neurostimulation is summarized for treatment of chronic migraine, trigeminal autonomic cephalagias and occipital neuralgia, and other secondary headache disorders. (Headache - The Journal of Head and Face Pain)

Brain-Computer Interface Award Submissions Sought

February 2014 - The International Annual BCI Award submission deadline is July 1, 2014; the award -- $3,000 -- recognizes outstanding, innovative research in brain-computer interfaces and has been supported since 2010 by the Australian BCI equipment supplier g.tec. (g.tec medical engineering GmbH)

Neuromodulation Research Grant Proposals for Parkinson's Research Due Next Month

February 2014 - Up to two years of funding for neuromodulation research into Parkinson's disease to relieve motor symptoms is offered by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Pre-proposals are due March 19. Ideal proposals involve clinical research or late-stage preclinical research in non-primates. The call for proposals calls deep brain stimulation a viable therapeutic option that provides benefit at low risk in appropriate patients although noting that the varying efficacy and side effects among subjects limits its full potential. (Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research)

Insights About Biomarkers of Depression Expand Future Treatment Options

Feb. 13, 2014 - An overview of new treatments for depression in Current Psychiatry mentions neuromodulation approaches and discusses theories about differences in neuron density; feedback pathways, and the role of stress in inflammatory response and cell turnover. (Medical Xpress)

Crossover Study Shows Benefit of Sacral Neuromodulation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Who Respond to a Percutaneous Trial

Feb. 6, 2014 - Surgeons from the Neurogastroenterology Unit at Aarhus University in Denmark report that in a randomized, controlled crossover study of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBS-specific symptoms were significantly reduced during stimulation in the 21 participants, and conclude that SNS improves quality of life for highly selected IBS patients. The study subjects had a minimum baseline IBS symptom score of 40 points, reduced at least 30% during a percutaneous nerve evaluation prior to implantation. At one-year follow-up, the median IBS symptom sore had dropped from 62 to 25. (Annals of Surgery)

Authors Present 15-Year Follow-up on Prevention of Percutaneous Lead Migration

Feb. 11, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard North, MD and co-authors report a retrospective series of patients in which percutaneous lead anchors were secured with a small amount of adhesive in 291 patients from 1998 to 2006. When one case of migration was observed involving a short anchor, from 2007 to 2013, in 142 consecutive patients, only a long anchor was used and a fascial incision was added to accommodate its tip, as well as stronger suture material. With a mean follow-up of 2.86 years, no migration was observed in the second set of patients; in the first series, over a mean follow-up of 4.75 years, 1.37% (4) patients experienced lead migration requiring revision. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Health Column Examines Study of Transcranial Stimulation to Improve Math

Feb. 11, 2014 - A column in the Wall Street Journal looks at research at Oxford University into whether noninvasive transcranial electrical stimulation can help improve performance in math. (Wall Street Journal)

Researcher Presents Studies Into Depression and Neuromodulation in Ireland

Feb. 11, 2014 - Biomarkers are needed to screen for patients who would be most likely to respond to deep brain stimulation (DBS) for depression, according to Helen Mayberg, MD, who spoke to the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. Mayberg said the treatment relieves psychic suffering so patients can be re-trained to engage in life in ways they are unused to, and that their previous therapeutic interventions continue. She said about 200 people have received DBS and about 80% of those in a clinical trial based in Atlanta have a sustained response, and 63% in a clinical trial based in Toronto have a sustained response. She also discussed her collaborations on brain imaging before and after cognitive behavioral therapy, which impacts the frontal cortex primarily, while drugs primarily impact the brain stem and limbic system. (Irish Times)

Heart Failure Patient Undergoes Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Clinical Trial

Feb. 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Esmiralda Henderson, MD's first patient where she established a deep brain stimulation (DBS) service at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines -- Iowa's second DBS center -- was videotaped showing how much the stimulation calms his essential tremor symptoms. (Des Moines Register)

Advantages of Early Screening and Implantation Documented for Diaphragm Pacing in Spine-Injury Patients

Feb. 7, 2014 - A retrospective study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery of 22 spinal cord-injury patients who had received neurostimulation to aid breathing through diaphragm pacing just 40 days after injury found that 72% were able to breathe independently without a respirator after an average of 10 days. All the others had delayed or partial weaning but one who was taken off life-prolonging support after entering long-term acute care. Eight patients completely recovered the ability to breathe and the neurostimulation wires were removed. The study looked at 29 patients, seven of whom not did receive an implant because laparoscopic diaphragm mapping to electronically read diaphragm nerves showed their phrenic nerves were not intact. The Diaphragm Pacing System by Synapse Biomedical, Inc., NeuRx, has FDA humanitarian device approval for spinal cord injury patients and patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It received Health Canada approval in November 2013 for patients with ventilator-dependent spinal injury, and CE Mark approval in 2007 for diaphragm dysfunction. (Medical Express)

News Show Features Man's Success in Quieting Tourette Syndrome Tics through Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 5, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD was interviewed regarding a patient whose more extreme tics caused by Tourette syndrome were quieted instantly when his deep brain stimulation system was programmed in September 2013. The patient's tics had included stumbling, punching himself in the head, and uttering profanities. A news report focused on the fact that the patient and his wife can finally go for walks while holding hands. (Good Morning America)

Meta-Analysis Shows Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 2, 2014 - An analysis of randomized controlled trials comprising almost 1,200 patients up to April 2013 indicates that deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease "significantly improves patients’ symptoms, functionality and quality of life," a research team writes in The Journal of Neurology. They add that although the number of studies included (6) is small, the relatively large sample size does confirm treatment efficacy. (Journal of Neurology)

Psychiatrist Ponders Investigations Into Deep Brain Stimulation in Addiction, Other Conditions

Dec. 19, 2013 - A psychiatrist who teaches bioethics at Columbia University presents emerging clinical experience involving deep brain stimulation in addiction and other behavioral conditions. (Scientific American)

Researcher: Preclinical Optogenetics Work in Dopamine Circuits Might Influence Other Therapies

Feb. 4, 2014 - A researcher says her optogenetics work in rats might be used to understand and possibly treat other conditions by using  similar viral vectors to infuse therapeutic genes into relevant brain regions. In her research, rats sought alcohol less after low-frequency, prolonged stimulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area led to accumulation of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, which had been thought to play a role in regulating alcohol consumption. Conversely, inducing phasic release of dopamine with brief high-frequency stimulation did not lead to less drinking of alcohol by the rats. (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Recordings Detail Coordination of Brain Centers in Planning and Executing Gait Control

Feb. 3, 2014 - A research team that took extracellular single-unit recordings  in the pedunculopontine nucleus of 10 Parkinson's disease patients during "awake" surgery for implantation of deep brain stimulators writes in Nature Neuroscience that different synchronous networks were activated during initial motor planning and actual motion, suggesting that changes in gait initiation in Parkinson's disease may result from disrupted network activity. (HealthCanal)

News Report: Futility Analysis Leads to Cessation of One Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

December 2013 - The BROADEN (BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation) Study has been closed, reportedly after a futility analysis did not support continuing St. Jude Medical's clinical investigation of the intervention in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, following an FDA-approved expansion in 2011 of up to 20 sites and 231 patients. (Neurotech Business Report) (Neurotech Reports)

Parkinson's Disease Researchers See Promise in Preclinical Neurostimulation Studies

Jan. 30, 2014 - In a student newspaper interview, Duke university researchers say that dorsal column stimulation is less costly and invasive than deep brain stimulation and might be applied at an earlier stage in Parkinson's disease. Their study of long-term effects in a rat model of the disease required innovating electrode designs and surgical procedures to ensure a stable implant. The team plans to translate the neurostimulation findings soon to clinical research in patients who have Parkinson's disease. (Duke Chronicle)

Neurosurgeons Provide Access to Quality Services and Information for Parkinson's Disease Patients

Jan. 29, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gary Heit, MD, PhD, is credited with helping Kaiser Permanente in Northern California to set up an advanced deep brain stimulation (DBS) service that pinpoints brain targets using diffusion tensor imaging. One recent patient at the Redwood City, Calif.-based medical center, Darcy Blake, described having DBS that helped control her tremors from Parkinson's Disease. She has helped create online information for women with Parkinson's disease that includes an entry about a recent talk on Parkinson's Disease by INS Director-at-Large Jaimie Henderson, MD given to a support group at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center. (Palo Alto Patch)

Photos Posted of Hospital's Milestone Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure

Jan. 27, 2014 - A business newspaper printed a photo montage from Monday's 500th deep brain stimulation surgery at Allegheny General Hospital involving a patient with cervical dystonia. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Studies Suggest Astrocytes' Role in Lingering Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Brain Circuits

Jan. 24, 2014 - A review summarizes how deep brain stimulation (DBS) may both inhibit neurons and activate axons, while also triggering cellular and molecular changes in other cells, especially astrocytes. Astrocytes apparently contribute to synaptic plasticity through potentiating or mediating long-term effects; in addition, DBS may increase activity in astrocytes of delta-opioid receptor to confer neuroprotection. (CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics)

Authors Advocate Having a Large Health System Explore Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Conditions Such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Fall 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gary Heit, MD, PhD, and co-authors report in The Permanente Journal that preliminary results are promising for deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of severe, medically refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. The authors say DBS has been established as a safe, reversible, adjustable, efficacious and evidence-based treatment that offers a higher quality of life and efficient use of patients' financial resources. They conclude that The Permanente Medical Group (comprised of physicians of the health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente) is uniquely situated to define and develop the appropriate scope of this intervention. (The Permanente Journal)

Executive Appointed to Help Guide Commercialization Efforts for External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Start-Up

Jan. 27, 2014 - NeuroSigma, Inc., a Los Angeles, Calif.-based company commercializing noninvasive trigeminal nerve stimulation for neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders, has appointed a former marketing executive from Allergan, Inc., Gregory F. Brooks, to be senior vice president and chief commercial officer. NeuroSigma's first product, the Monarch eTNS System, is available by prescription in the European Union and Canada. (Market Watch)

Maker of Devices for Voiding Disorder Names New Executive to Oversee Product Development

Jan. 27, 2014 - Suranjan Roychowdhury, PhD, has been appointed vice president of Research & Development and Clinical Affairs, a new position at Uroplasty, Inc. designed to guide clinical trials for their pipeline of products to treat voiding dysfunctions. As a materials scientist who has held leadership roles at several medical devices companies, he holds 20 issued U.S. patents in cardiology, orthopedics, urology and drug delivery. (Wall Street Journal)

Closed-Loop, Cortical Stimulation Proposed for Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 18, 2014 - Closed-loop cortical stimulation may offer clinical benefit for treating advanced Parkinson's disease, according to authors who review the issue, including the potential of mathematical modeling to contribute to its development. (Clinical Neurophysiology)

Publication Cites Spinal Cord Stimulation's Neuroprotective Effects in an Animal Model of Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 23, 2014 - A study in rats indicates that repeated spinal cord stimulation may have a neuroprotective effect that could slow progression of Parkinson's disease. In the animals, six weeks of twice-weekly treatment led to such improved symptoms of depleted dopamine as better motor skills and a reversal of significant weight loss. The treated rats had better neuron survival and a higher density of dopaminergic innervation in brain regions controlled movement. (Duke University)

Landing Science Conferences Such As the INS 13th World Congress in 2017 is Considered a Coup for an Expanded Convention Center in Edinburgh

Jan. 22, 2014 - The International Neuromodulation Society's World Congress in 2017 is mentioned as one of three science conferences from 2015 - 2017 that are considered coups for the Edinburgh, Scotland International Conference Centre whose expansion opened in May. The state-of-the-art facilities and popular and natural draw of the city were cited by an executive for the British Neuroscience Association. In 2015 its Festival of Neuroscience will coincide with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The International Congress and Convention Association rates the Edinburgh just behind London as a U.K. conference destination and 33rd worldwide. (Edinburgh News)

Small Piezoelectric Power Supplies are Under Development for Medical Devices

Jan. 21, 2014 - Research in large animals, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that piezoelectric nanoribbons of lead zirconate titanate implanted on the surface of the heart, lungs and diaphragm can generate up to eight volts of electricity under mechanical stress. The prototype device stores the electrical current in a small battery, and the senior author says the device was able to power a few off-the-shelf pacemakers. An industry observer commented that in five years, such an approach to harvesting mechanical energy of the body, for instance, in arm or leg muscles or organs that move, may drive biosensors and biodevices. (Popular Mechanics)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Studies in Epilepsy Presented

Jan. 21, 2014 - Positive results in adjunctive treatment for epilepsy using external trigeminal nerve stimulation were announced last month by NeuroSigma, Inc. at the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting. The presentations concerned 10 patients who had reduction in seizures of 30 - 50% or more after 12 weeks and 8 of whom chose to continue treatment beyond the initial 18 weeks; as well as a Phase II sub-analysis of 26 patients who experienced a mean seizure reduction of 34.4% compared to an increase of 6.6% in the control group. Patients in the sub-analysis group met inclusion criteria of having 4 - 60 seizures per month -- the same criteria as will be used in an upcoming, recently approved pivotal trial. (PR Newswire)

Review Summarizes Published Studies of Tibial Nerve Stimulation in Fecal Incontinence

Jan. 21, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles, MBBChir, PhD and co-authors reviewed 12 published clinical studies of tibial nerve stimulation to control fecal incontinence. In a randomized controlled study and case series reports, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) resulted in a weekly reduction of at least 50% in occurrences of fecal incontinence in 63-82% of patients; transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (TTNS) resulted in similar success in 0-45% of patients. In a randomized controlled trial of PTNS vs. TTNS vs. sham, treatment success was 82% with PTNS, 45% with TTNS, and 13% in sham. (British Journal of Surgery)

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Bladder Symptoms Most Effective When a Sensory Response is Present in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Jan. 20, 2014 - A study of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in 83 patients with multiple sclerosis and lower urinary tract symptoms indicated that despite the effects of the disease on neuronal pathways, the most frequently observed perception of bladder condition was a sensory response, with or without a motor response, and this was associated with a more successful therapy outcome than motor response alone. (Multiple Sclerosis Research)

Cardiologist Considers Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation for Sleep Apnea Potentially Helpful for Heart Health

Jan. 15, 2014 - Future studies of hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea should evaluate cardiovascular outcomes, a cardiologist says in a column discussing the promising study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the therapy. The author writes that obstructive sleep apnea worsens outcomes in heart disease, and treating the sleep disorder may help to prevent heart disease. (Everyday Health)

Health Economy Model Predicts Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Hypertension is Cost-Effective

Jan. 10, 2014 - Compared to optimal medical management, therapeutic electrical stimulation of the carotid baroreceptors in patients who have medication-resistant hypertension is projected to add 2.17 quality-adjusted life years (QALY), according to a health-economic modeling analysis published in the Journal of Hypertension. Its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is 7,797 euros per QUALY gained in a European payer setting, well below the recognized threshold of 35,000 euros. CVRx Inc. announced the findings concerning its Barostim device. The second-generation Barostim neo is commercially available in Europe and the therapy is also subject to a pivotal clinical trial in the U.S. (Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology)

Neurology Researchers Develop Mobile Application to Facilitate Quicker Programming of Deep Brain Stimulation Systems

Jan. 16, 2014 - An iPad-based clinical decision support system in preliminary testing reduced the time to program deep brain stimulation systems more than 99% (less than two minutes, rather than four hours). The project at the Medical College of Wisconsin has received a $25,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin for a prospective randomized study in Parkinson's disease patients at Froedtert Hospital. (Medical College of Wisconsin)

New Insight Into Opioid Receptor Function May Aid Development of Pain and Mood Interventions

Jan. 14, 2014 - The doorway to treating pain and mood disorders through interfacing with opioid receptors may have widened with discovery of the architecture of a sodium channel that seems common to all three types of opioid receptors. As reported in Nature, the work was achieved by crystalizing the receptors and visualizing their structure through X-ray crystallography. (Medical News Today)

Randomized Prospective Clinical Study Favorably Compares Sacral Neuromodulation to Standard Medical Treatment

Jan. 10, 2014 - Sacral neuromodulation to manage mild symptoms of overactive bladder is superior to standard medical treatment in controlling symptoms and contributing to better quality of life, according to a six-month prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial. The study was sponsored by the InterStim® Therapy device maker, Medtronic, Inc. (Neurourology and Urodynamics)

TV Pain Documentary Introduces Spinal Cord Stimulation for Neuropathic Pain


Jan. 10, 2014 - Spinal cord stimulation is described as a non-drug approach to controlling back pain in a Discovery Channel documentary, "Pain Matters." (Newsmax Health)

Article Discusses Activity of Deep Brain Stimulation in Motor Disorder


January 2014 - Recent animal and human evidence strongly suggests that antidromic activation from the subthalamic nucleus desynchronizes motor cortex activity. The implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of Parkinson's disease are discussed. (JAMA Neurology)

Expert Panel on Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Medically Refractory Primary Headache Starts Today for INS Members


Jan. 13, 2014 - The International Neuromodulation Society is hosting an Expert Panel for members on occipital nerve stimulation for medically refractory primary headache, co-moderated from Jan. 13 - 27 by specialists who have published groundbreaking studies about the technique since its inception -- Prof. Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, director of the Headache Center at the University of California, San Francisco; and Richard L. Weiner, MD, clinical associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Chairman of Neurosurgery at THR Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Gene Therapy Dosing Trial in Parkinson's Patients


Jan 10, 2014 - In a dosing trial involving 15 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, researchers have injected a gene-therapy vector bilaterally into the patients' putamen to produce dopamine there. Patients who received the highest dosages had to reduce their intake of levodopa. In a publication in Lancet, the researchers report that motor scores improved at 6 and 12 months, and the therapeutic, ProSavin, was safe and well-tolerated with mild to moderate side-effects. Kyriacos Mitrophanous, head of research at Oxford BioMedica in England, the company that developed the therapy and funded the study, said he thinks the treatment will eventually outperform deep brain stimulation or levodopa. (Imperial College London)

Small-town Neuromodulation Center Has Big Plans


Jan. 9, 2014 - The Greenville Neuromodulation Center is offering distance learning to clinicians about deep brain stimulation and has opened a facility on the main street of its small hometown north of Pittsburgh, PA to bring together patients, their families, and visiting healthcare professionals, as well as facilities for treatment, diagnosis and recovery, and training and research. In addition, the center has established a teaching relationship with neuroscience students at the local Thiel College. (Keystone Edge)

Study: Neurostimulation Device for Sleep Apnea Reduced Symptoms 70%

Jan. 9, 2014 - An office-based low-magnetic-field stimulation approach to relieving depression, accidentally discovered when bipolar patients were receiving MRIs 12 years ago, has become the first to be selected for a 90-day proof-of-concept trial under the NIH's Rapidly Acting Treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression program, according to the company, Tal Medical of Boston. Tal (Hindi for rhythm) believes the oscillating magnetic field of the MRI was resetting the brain's rhythm while being too low to trigger neuron firing. The company is being incubated by PureTech Ventures of Boston. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Study: Neurostimulation Device for Sleep Apnea Reduced Symptoms 70%

Jan. 8, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc.'s spinout Inspire Medical Systems of Maple Grove, MN reported in the New England Journal of Medicine a prospective study of 126 patients with obstructive sleep apnea in whom symptoms of interrupted breathing at night dropped some 70% within a year of being implanted with a hypoglossal nerve stimulator. The company is scheduled to present the device for FDA review next month. The implant was studied in patients who had trouble accepting or adhering to the current standard treatment, a sleep mask called a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP. (MedPage Today)

Optogenetics Study Pinpoints Activity of a Brain Center in a Rat Model of Alcoholism

Jan. 3, 2014 - A low and prolonged level of dopamine release accomplished through optogenetics stopped rats from bingeing or consuming alcohol, and the cessation continued even after stimulation ended, according to a university press release about experiments reported in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The stimulation centered on a region that was known to be activated through alcoholic behavior, the ventral tegmental area. Its role had not been clear. The study indicated that tonic, but not phasic, stimulation led to attenuated alcohol consumption by the rats. (State University of New York, Buffalo)

Medicare Recipients are Under-Represented Among Parkinson's Disease Patients Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation

Jan. 3, 2014 - An analysis of more than 665,000 Medicare recipients between 2007-2009 by collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis found that patients with Parkinson's disease from lower socioeconomic strata are less likely to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) for motor symptoms. The study, published in Neurology, states that out-of-pocket costs for DBS are 41% higher than non-DBS care, so low-income seniors may be less willing to pay the approximately $2,200 per year, and referring and treating physicians may be less likely to consider the treatment.(Medical Xpress)


Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools 2013

News Report: Futility Analysis Leads to Cessation of One Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

December 2013 - The BROADEN (BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation) Study has been closed, reportedly after a futility analysis did not support continuing St. Jude Medical's clinical investigation of the intervention in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, following an FDA-approved expansion in 2011 of up to 20 sites and 231 patients. (Neurotech Business Report) (Neurotech Reports)

Deep Brain Stimulation Services Come to Western Montana
Dec. 25, 2013 - In a presentation in western Montana, a neurological surgeon describes deep brain stimulation for movement disorder, saying the quality-of-life benefits in appropriate patients at the right window of time are tremendous, such as being able to go to a restaurant, write a letter, or pay bills. (Daily Inter Lake)

Parkinson's Disease Patient in Colorado is Excited to Start Treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation
Dec. 24, 2013 - A Colorado Springs woman with Parkinson's disease had her new deep brain stimulation system programmed for the first time the week of Christmas. The formerly athletic mother of four had had Parkinson's disease for more than a decade, and said she considers the treatment a new beginning. (9news.com)

Overactive Bladder Neuromodulation Treatment Receives Positive Coverage Decision by Regional U.S. Insurer
Dec. 23, 2013 - The large regional private insurer Medical Mutual has written a positive coverage policy for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation delivered via Uroplasty Inc.'s Urgent PC Neuromodulation system for treatment of overactive bladder. The insurer covers 2.7 million people, primarily in Ohio, as well as Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia. This decision brings to 148 million the number of people in the U.S. with access to coverage for the therapy. (Wall Street Journal)

Malaysia is Called First in Southeast Asia to Offer Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Pain
Dec. 22, 2013 - A pain specialist in Malaysia compares and contrasts percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) for pain with acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, saying the National Institute of Clinical Excellence issued a guideline in the spring on the use of PENS in pain. (The Star)

Study of Deep Brain Stimulation Effects in Dystonia Suggests Early-Treatment Benefits
Dec. 20, 2013 - Although it has been reported that young patients who receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the globus pallidus after a relatively short period of dystonia are able to sustain benefits after stimulation is switched off, a small randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover study of adult (mean age 52) who had dystonia for a mean time of 11 years did not exhibit this sustained effect. Although initially stimulation takes longer to exert symptom control than in other conditions, the 12 patients in the study had resumed symptom relief within a few minutes of restarting stimulation following a shutoff of less than two days. The authors conclude, "This phenomenon and the underlying neurobiology should be studied in greater detail in the future, aiming at the possibility of early DBS treatment of dystonia for sustained changes in maladaptive neuronal plasticity."  (Movement Disorders)


Psychiatrist Ponders Investigations Into Deep Brain Stimulation in Addiction, Other Conditions

Dec. 19, 2013 - A psychiatrist who teaches bioethics at Columbia University presents emerging clinical experience involving deep brain stimulation in addiction and other behavioral conditions. (Scientific American)

Epileptic Patient is One of First to Receive Newly Approved Responsive Neurostimulation Device
Dec. 19, 2013 - The University of California's Keck School of Medicine held a news conference with a 28-year-old epileptic woman who received a newly approved responsive neurostimulation implant designed to limit seizure activity. (KABC-TV Los Angeles)

Company Seeks PMA for Newly Developed Spinal Cord Stimulation System
Dec. 19, 2013 - Greatbatch has filed for pre-market approval of its spinal cord stimulation system that was designed by its subsidiary, QiG Group. Offering a complete medical system is part of a strategy to increase growth and profitability, the company said. (Mass Device)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Does Not Appear to Cause Lasting Change in Recognition of Emotional Facial Expression
Dec. 19, 2013 - A study of patients before and after deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease indicates that any effect on difficulty recognizing facial expressions such as sadness following surgery may be transitory dues to microlesions that are largely reabsorbed after a few months. While patients before and after stimulation therapy had trouble recognizing the facial expression for disgust, verbal expressions of emotion did not elicit any difficulty in either group. (Medical Xpress)

Combined Stimulation to Activate Autonomic Nervous System Linked to Decline in Fat Stores of Obese Patients
Dec. 6, 2013 - A study in Obesity Surgery of five morbidly obese patients who received cervical spinal cord stimulation and occipital nerve stimulation during the day for eight weeks led to a steady and sustained loss of body fat, probably through activation of the autonomic nervous system. (F1000Prime)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Aids Driving in Parkinson's Disease
Dec. 18, 2013 - A study of simulated driving with 65 subjects, some of whom had Parkinson's disease and a third of whom controlled motor symptoms through deep brain stimulation showed that  stimulation resulted in more driving accuracy. In fact that group did not perform significantly worse than the controls in any category of error and even performed better in making fewer slight errors. The study, published in Neurology, was conducted at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. (EurekAlert)

Review Traces Evolution of Deep Brain Stimulation Technology
January 2014 - A review article summarizes how, over the past 25 years, technology for deep brain stimulation has evolved so that stimulation can be more precisely targeted and feedback incorporated that may allow therapy to monitor disease states and apply stimulation on demand. (Parkinsonism & Related Disorders)

Animal Study Links Spinal Cord Stimulation to Gastric Emptying -- with Potential for Motility Disorders
Dec. 18, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Robert Foreman, PhD and Jiande Chen, PhD report with colleagues that in diabetic rats, spinal cord stimulation quickened gastric emptying, probably by inhibiting activity of the sympathetic nervous system, and it may have utility for treating gastrointestinal motility disorders. (Neurogastroenterology & Motility)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Investigated as an Aid to Motor Recovery After Stroke
Dec. 16, 2013 - A stroke patient in Scotland who is participating in a clinical trial to see if vagus nerve stimulation enhances rehabilitation for arm weakness describes his recovery. (Mail Online)

White Matter Nerve Tract Idiosyncrasies Considered Vital in Treating Disorders of Brain Circuitry
Dec. 16, 2013 - Saying depression is a disorder of brain circuits, neurologist Helen Mayberg, MD of Emory University has been producing probabilistic tract maps with colleagues to better position deep brain stimulation electrodes for delivering electrical stimulation that flows from the brain target Area 25 to the frontal cortex via white tracts -- which appears be key to providing relief. Moving a left-side electrode 2 mm deeper in one instance helped a patient go from a reduction in symptoms of just 30% to remission, Mayberg said at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. (Dana Foundation)

Patient Recounts Her Experiences with Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression
Dec. 14, 2013 - A woman underwent deep brain stimulation in a clinical trial of the procedure in depression in 2009 had the leads moved to a more ideal position a year later during a second surgery in which she was kept partially awake to gauge her reaction. The brain target was Area 25, which neurologist Helen Mayberg, MD said, in an interview about the research, is targeted to try to turn negative mood and psychic pain off. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte)

Study Indicates Stimulation to Enhance Activity of a Prefrontal Circuit Helps with Self-Control
Dec. 14, 2013 - Stimulation to the prefrontal area of the brain, in four volunteers with epilepsy, apparently enhanced a braking function required to complete a task by slowing action -- indicating potential to enhance self-control by increasing function of this circuit, as reported in the Journal of Neuroscience. (Psych Central)

Co-Inventor Discusses Rationale and Results of External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for Depression
Dec. 14, 2013 - A small early trial of 11 patients with treatment-resistant depression who received external trigeminal nerve stimulation overnight led to mood improvement within two weeks of the eight-week trial, according to details in a news feature about the work. Co-inventor Ian Cook, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and member of the International Neuromodulation Society, said in an interview that the trigeminal nerve projects to a lot of important areas in the brain, sending sensory information from the environment that may be useful to survival. Due to that, the ability to stimulate this nerve externally permits an influence to be extended to deeper brain circuits that are involved in behavior. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte)

Researchers Show Effect of Optogenetics on Cognitive Task in Primate Study
Dec. 13, 2013 - Optogenetics influenced the visual decision-making of two primates in research reported in Current Biology, with a similar rate as electrical stimulation to the lateral intraparietal area, although the speed of reaction time was slower with electrical stimulation, possibly due to its relative imprecision in the cells it reached. (R&D Magazine)

Survey: Falls More Likely in Parkinson's Disease Patients Who Use Deep Brain Stimulation
Dec. 12, 2013 - In a survey by the Parkinson Alliance of 334 people with Parkinson's disease who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy and 819 individuals who did not, there was 2.52 more risk of falls in the respondents who had DBS, according to the results. The organization recommends discussing fall prevention at each visit for patients who have DBS. (PR Newswire)

Interactive Remote Training Offered to Toddlers Learning Language after Cochlear Implantation
Dec. 9, 2013 - A joint teletherapy program offers language training conducted remotely for children under the age of 3 who have received cochlear implants. Toddlers from Salinas, CA to the Oregon border participate in the program, Baby Talk, regardless of ability to pay. A 1-year-old girl who is among the 17 youngsters enrolled is featured in a news column describing her home-therapy sessions. (Stanford University)

Visual Prosthetic Innovator Looks Back and Ahead Regarding Device Development
Dec. 11, 2013 - In remarks at an event, the founder and CEO of visual prosthetics inventor Second Sight Medical, whose Argus II retinal implant was approved by the FDA earlier this year, discusses the 22-year, $200 million development of the "bionic eye" for improving visual perception in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. He said the next challenge would be to bypass the optic nerve and stimulate the visual cortex, a goal that may lead to a device to test in the next two years. (Mass Device)

Michigan Health System Will Offer Responsive Neurostimulation for Epilepsy
Dec. 11, 2013 - Michigan-based Spectrum Health, whose medical group chief of neurology is the immediate past chair of the National Epilepsy Foundation, will be among the first health systems in the U.S. to offer the NeuroPace® Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS®) System for patients with medically refractory epilepsy that has no more than two origin points. NeuroPace, Inc. estimates that approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. meet criteria for the device and may benefit from treatment. (Phys.org)

Columnist Raises Awareness About Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
Dec. 11, 2013 - A newspaper columnist writes about two friends who will undergo deep brain stimulation surgery similar to the operation he had nearly three years ago to manage symptoms of his Parkinson's disease. (Fountain Hills Times)

Florida Hospital Will be a Site for Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation in Chronic Lower Limb Pain
December 2013 - One of 25 expected locations for the U.S. ACCURATE pivotal clinical study of Spinal Modulation, Inc.'s Axium™ Neurostimulator System for patients with chronic lower limb pain is Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The neurostimulator targets the dorsal root ganglion to interrupt pain signals traveling to the brain. (Holy Cross Hospital)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation System Results Presented
Dec. 10, 2013 - At the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting, Cyberonics, Inc. presented results from 14 European centers in which 31 patients received the company's investigational AspireSR generator, which provides normal-mode vagus nerve stimulation augmented by seizure response stimulation. The performance and safety study met its endpoint; the IntelliSense cardiac-based seizure detection system detected more than 80% of seizures accompanied by a heart-rate increase that often occurs near or before the seizure onset. (Pharmabiz.com)

Authors Report Deep Brain Stimulation Effects in Chronic Neuropathic Pain Patients
Dec. 9, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alexander Green, MD, and colleagues report that deep brain stimulation for chronic neuropathic pain significantly improved mood, anxiety, and aspects of quality of life in a six-month follow-up compared to baseline. However, improvements in pain severity from stimulation of the periventricular/periaqueductal grey area and sensory thalamus were associated with less improvement, and even deterioration, on measures of executive cognitive functioning. (The Journal of Pain)

Early Results Presented Regarding Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Chronic Knee Pain
Dec. 9, 2013 - Highland Instruments, Inc. announced its ESStim™ technology, noninvasive brain stimulation that combines independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasonic fields, was presented during the 5th International Symposium on Neuromodulation in September in Brazil. A preliminary analysis of 18 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee showed significant pain reduction lasting up to four weeks post-stimulation. (PR Newswire)

Report Traces Activities in Epileptic Seizure Evaluation and Advances in Neuroscience
Dec. 9, 2013 - A reporter for National Public Radio's Morning Edition profiles the experiences of a man being evaluated for epilepsy in the hospital, centering on how selective brain stimulation during these procedures can reveal more about the roles of different brain regions, such as the recently reported association between a particular brain center and perseverance. (WBUR)

Responsive Neurostimulation Pivotal Clinical Trial Results Presented
Dec. 8, 2013 - Results of the 250-patient pivotal clinical trial for the NeuroPace responsive neurostimulation device approved by the FDA last month were presented at the American Epilepsy Society's annual meeting. Responder rates increased steadily over the first two to three years after implant, with seizure frequency dropping about 55%, a level that was sustained for up to 80 months. (MedPage Today)

Members Author Study on High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Pain
Dec. 5, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Adnan Al-Kaisy, MD; J.P. Van Buyten, MD; Iris Smet, MD; Stefano Palmisani, MD; and Thomas Smith, MD were among authors reporting two-year follow-up results in a prospective, multi-center study of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic pain of the low back and legs. Of the 64 patients assessed after 24 months, clinically significant improvements in pain reduction, reduced opioid use, function, and satisfaction were observed. (Pain Medicine)

Research Links Brain Circuit to Perseverance
Dec. 5, 2013 - A study in Neuron indicates the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex in perseverance to overcome challenges. The study involved two epileptics who had electrodes implanted in their anterior midcingulate cortex to learn about their seizures. Stimulation of this region, the authors report, "elicits autonomic changes and the expectation of an imminent challenge coupled with a determined attitude to overcome it." (Medical Daily)

First U.S. Implant of Next-Generation Deep Brain Stimulation System
Dec. 5, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, implanted the first deep brain stimulation device in the U.S. that is capable of sensing and storing electrical activity in the brain. Stanford University, where he is a professor of neurosurgery at the medical school, will receive 10 of these next-generation symptoms as part of a clinical study, according to the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education. Henderson said the device provides "a unique window on brain function and dysfunction in Parkinson's disease." (Stanford School of Medicine)

Three-Month Follow-Up Results Reported in Spinal Cord Stimulation Patients Using 32-Contact Leads
Dec. 6, 2013 - At the 17th annual meeting of the North American chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS), Boston Scientific Corporation presented a retrospective study of up to three months follow-up with its Precision Spectra™ spinal cord stimulation system (SCS). INS member Salim Hayek, MD, PhD, chief, Division of Pain Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland commented on the effectiveness of pain-reduction shown in up to 213 consecutive patients at 13 centers with the SCS system. It uses 32 contacts and an anatomy-driven computer model for programming stimulation. Among initial results were a 94% trial success rate; pain reduction from 7.8 out of 10 to 3.2 in the 113 patients who were three months post-implant; and a lower-back-pain reduction from an initial 7.0 to 2.9 out of 10 in 32 lower-back-pain patients who reached a three-month follow-up. Early results indicated improved function, and reduced opioid use and disability. (Yahoo! Finance)

First U.S. Patients Receive Deep Brain Stimulation Systems That Are Capable of Sensing and Recording
Dec. 5, 2013 - Medtronic, Inc. announced that the first U.S. patients have received implants of the company's Activa PC+S deep brain stimulation system (DBS) that senses and records brain activity. The system could be subject to research at up to 20 centers, and the brain-mapping data will be made available to physicians worldwide for clinical studies. The system is investigational in the U.S., and received CE Mark in January in the European Union. The first U.S. patients were treated at Stanford Movement Disorders Center and the University of California San Francisco’s Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. (Star Tribune)

Electroceutical Startup Chooses Developer for Programmable Interface
Dec. 5, 2013 - Product developer Sangentia announced it will work on a programming interface with SetPoint Medical to develop an iPad App and advise on radio frequency and Bluetooth Low Energy interfaces for SetPoint's bioelectronics platform. The platform is being developed to treat inflammation-mediated autoimmune diseases as a lower-risk, lower-cost alternative to immunosuppressive drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases. (Business Wire)

Entrepreneur Announces a New Focus on Neurostimulation for Brain Damage
Dec. 5, 2013 - Amol Sarva, PhD, writes in Wired Magazine he is building a team to target using neurostimulation to treat brain damage, with a 12-person controlled trial complete and a 100-person trial anticipated. The co-founder of Virgin Mobile USA, he calls neurostimulation a mind-expanding idea that might be commercialized to improve cognitive function. Sarva pursued a doctorate in cognitive science at Stanford University and previously created two communications startup companies. (Wired)

Enrollment Starts in Clinical Trial of Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation and Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Low Back and Leg Pain
Dec. 4, 2013 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced the first patient has been enrolled in a randomized controlled clinical study that compares spinal cord stimulation (SCS) alone against SCS with peripheral nerve field stimulation (PfNS) for managing chronic low back and leg pain. The patient was enrolled by International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Thomas Yearwood, MD, PhD. A maximum of 450 patients who have failed back surgery syndrome will be enrolled at up to 35 sites in the U.S. in the trial, led by principal investigator and INS member Porter McRoberts, MD. The SENSE™ Subcutaneous and Epidural Neuromodulation System Evaluation study will examine safety and efficacy of combined SCS and PfNS, as well as pain reduction, quality of life, changes in disability measures, and cost-effectiveness data to support reimbursement coverage. (Business Wire)

Two-Day Brain Forum Held in Saudi Arabia
Dec. 4, 2013 - Deep brain stimulation pioneer Alim Benabid, MD, PhD, was among speakers at a two-day Brain Forum in Jeddah designed to place Saudi Arabia on the "roadmap of the human brain frontier," according to the organizer of this first-ever event. (Saudi Gazette)

Pediatric Dystonia Patients Receive Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery While Asleep
Dec. 3, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Honeycutt, MD, led the first two surgeries in which children with dystonia received deep brain stimulation implants while "asleep" through the use of real time image guidance and visualization. The surgeries using MRI Interventions' ClearPoint® Neuro Intervention System and an IMRIS VISIUS® Surgical Theatre took place at the Cook Children's Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery in Fort Worth, Texas in November. (MarketWatch)

Burst Stimulation Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial Announced
Dec. 3, 2013 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. has initiated a U.S. clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation with its Prodigy™ neurostimulator that uses a proprietary burst mode of stimulation. Up to 442 chronic pain patients will be enrolled at up to 50 sites in the safety and efficacy trial,  SUNBURST™ (Success Using Neuromodulation with BURST). The new investigational device has an expected 10-year battery life and requires recharging approximately once a week. It is designed to deliver both tonic and burst stimulation. International Neuromodulation Society President Elect Tim Deer, MD commented that the comprehensive approach may help manage pain in patients whose pain is not adequately managed by tonic spinal cord stimulation alone, or who lose therapeutic benefit over time. Also, the prospect of burst stimulation providing paresthesia-free pain relief means it could suit patients who cannot tolerate traditional stimulation. (Mass Device)

Mobile Platform for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Announced
Dec. 2, 2013 - Soterix Medical Inc. of New York, N.Y., Rogue Resolutions Ltd of Cardiff, UK, and neuroConn GmbH of Ilmenau, Germany announced a transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) platform with a headgear designed for clinical trial or home use. The MOBILE neuromodulation device kits are designed to deliver Limited Total Energy (LTE) tDCS, using a proprietary technology developed at The City College of New York. The kits include cloud-based compliance monitoring and are explicated to enter clinical trials in 2014. (PR Newswire)

Letter to Editor: Back Pain Patients Encouraged to Learn About Spinal Cord Stimulation
Dec. 2, 2013 - A woman who had chronic pain more than 20 years after two back surgeries and finally regained more daily functioning after receiving a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant says she hopes others with such a condition will seek help and get relief after reading about a woman with degenerative disc pain who was able to run a half-marathon after using SCS. (Monterey County Herald)

Epileptic Since Infancy, 4-Year-Old Boy Benefits from Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Dec. 1, 2013 - A 4-year-old boy who has had epileptic seizures since infancy received a vagus nerve stimulation system, benefitting from that stimulation since treatment began one month ago. (Las Cruces Sun)

Prospective Study Documents Value of Deep Brain Stimulation in Critical Care Conditions
Nov. 30, 2013 - When involuntary movements are continuous, life-threatening and refractory to intensive care procedures, a prospective study of seven critical care patients indicates that neurostimulation could represent a valuable choice. In the study by International Neuromodulation Society member Angelo Franzini, MD, and co-authors, five patients with status dystonicus received bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the globus pallidus internus, resolving those symptoms from between 1 week to 3 months. A patient with post-stroke severe hemiballismus received unilateral DBS to the unilateral ventralis oralis anterior and posterior nucleus of the thalamus. That patient's symptoms were controlled in 10 hours and the patient was discharged in two days. Another patient with hemiballismus who was also treated with unilateral DBS was transferred to the neurosurgery ward after 13 days. (Journal of Neural Transmission)

Support Group Formed by Parkinson's Patient Who Began Deep Brain Stimulation Early
Nov. 30, 2013 - A news feature explores the experiences of a Parkinson's disease patient who chose to have deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) early in his disease at the recommendation of his neurologist, and has begun a support group for people who have had, or are considering, DBS. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Paper Reviews the Prospect of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Stimulation in Migraine Treatment
Nov. 29, 2013 - Two possible mechanisms of action are proposed for the therapeutic effect of sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) stimulation in migraine. Parasympathetic activity of the SPG may contribute to the pain of migraine as well as tearing, nasal stuffiness, and other symptoms of the autonomic nervous system. Possible mechanisms of SPG stimulation are either interrupting parasympathetic outflow that triggers those symptoms, or modulating sensory processing in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis. (Cephalalgia)

Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation in Eating Disorder is Described
Nov. 29, 2013 - An article describes how early studies indicate that deep brain stimulation may be promising in treating such eating disorders as obesity or anorexia. (dailyrx.com)

Mapping Neural Correlates of Disease is Among Program's Aims
Nov. 27, 2013 - A U.S. military publication explains how the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program is aimed at evaluating how the central nervous system represents traumatic brain injury, addiction, and fibromyalgia/chronic pain. If successful, the program manager said, the research would "advance neuropsychiatry beyond the realm of dialogue-driven observations and resultant trial and error . . . to produce major improvements in quality of life for service members and veterans who have very few options with existing therapies. These are patients for whom current medical understanding of diseases like chronic pain or fatigue, unmanageable depression or severe post-traumatic stress disorder can’t provide meaningful relief.” (Armed With Science)

Fusing Computational Methods and Emerging Neuromodulation Therapies Could Fuel the Field of Translational Computational Neuroscience
Nov. 26, 2013 - In a paper describing possible therapeutic mechanisms of neuromodulation in migraine using such interventions as sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation or transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation, computational scientists describe how conceivably a dynamical network biomarker might provide an early-warning system for episodic bouts of chronic conditions. They say that quantitative modeling at cellular and tissue scales might have predictive properties and help to optimize treatment protocols as well as develop a unified theory of control. Experimental data, such as imaging of neural connectivity, would aid this endeavor. (Translational Neuroscience)

Epilepsy Treatment Device Likened to a Window into the Brain
Nov. 25, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ryder Gwinn, MD, explains how the new NeuroPace responsive neurostimulation system for epilepsy provides a window into brain activity, building therapy around a patient's seizure fingerprint and permitting programming of stimulation to be refined through closed-loop feedback. (KOMO News)

Research Suggests Role of Brain Region in Decision-Making
Nov. 24, 2013 - A team at the University of British Columbia performed studies on rats that showed inactivating the lateral habenula, as may occur in deep brain stimulation, led to the research subjects displaying indifference about choosing between rewards with different subjective costs and benefits. The work suggests that rather than serve as an aversion center, conveying an anti-reward signal as previously thought, the region may act as a preference center for expressing subjective decision biases. (University of British Columbia)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Shows Promise in Pudendal Neuralgia
Nov. 19, 2013 - In what is called the first prospective study of its kind, 27 patients received spinal cord stimulation of the conus medullaris for refractory pudendal neuralgia; 20 patients were considered responders after a trial phase and went on to permanent implantation. All the implanted responders continued to benefit at a mean follow-up of 15 months. The authors conclude that routine use of this technique should be validated in a larger study in this type of patient. (Neurology and Urodynamics)

Long-term Followup Shows Sacral Neuromodulation Benefits Continue in Bladder Dysfunction
Nov. 25, 2013 - A retrospective analysis of 217 patients with lower urinary tract dysfunction showed that in a median follow-up of almost four years, the benefits of sacral neuromodulation persisted with less need for repositioning in patients treated by more recent percutaneous self-anchoring leads. (medwireNews)

Call for Proposals Regarding Brain Stimulation in Combat Recovery
Nov. 22, 2013 - The Defense Projects Research Agency has issued a request for proposals about using brain stimulation to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other brain maladies through closed-loop neural recording and stimulation. (FEDweek)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment System Approved in Argentina
Oct. 30, 2013 - St. Louis-based EndoStim announced it has received approval in Argentina for sale of its neurostimulation system to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD. The Lower Esophageal Sphincter Stimulation System strengthens the muscle that prevents stomach acid from rising into the esophagus, which lacks a protective lining to protect against tissue damage. The system uses bipolar leads that are implanted laparoscopically and powered by an impulse pulse generator. (PR Newswire via EndoStim)

Feasibility Study Targets Neural Plasticity As a Remedy for Tinnitus
Nov. 21, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Dirk De Ridder, MD, PhD, and colleagues published an early view case series in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface describing how medication-free patients with chronic tinnitus who received 20 daily sessions pairing a brief electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve and tones other than the tinnitus-matched frequency experienced improvement in symptoms that was stable for two months after therapy. This case series was an attempt to translate into humans findings from animal research indicating it may be possible to drive neural plasticity in a controlled way to limit symptoms of the disorder. (University of Texas at Dallas)

Visual Prosthetic Company Founder Looks Back and Ahead at Technology Development
Nov. 21, 2013 - The founder of Second Sight Medical, creator of the Argus II visual prosthetic that is due to be marketed in the U.S. in 2014, described its development as a means to bypass a gap in the sensory nervous system pathway, and what future treatments may be in store. (Mass Device)

Parkinson's Disease Trial Combines Tissue for Nerve Repair and Deep Brain Stimulation
Nov. 18, 2013 - A professor at the University of Kentucky has already enrolled five of an expected six patients to undergo both deep brain stimulation and an autologous transplant of peripheral nerve into the brain in a Phase I safety and feasibility trial in Parkinson's disease. The tissue graft is intended to stimulate repair of brain regions that progressively degrade in Parkinson's disease. Since some peripheral nerves can regenerate, the procedure involves taking about an inch of peripheral nerve from above the ankle, and grafting the tissue into the patient's substantia nigra during the deep brain stimulation surgery, where the tissue may release nerve growth factors. Early results showed the five patients were able to stop taking Parkinson's disease medication one month after surgery. (University of Kentucky)

High-Frequency Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improved Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease
November 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Youichi Saitoh, MD, PhD and colleagues report a randomized, double-blind cross-over trial of 21 Parkinson's disease patients that compared sham stimulation with high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF rTMS). In the clinical trial, they found HF rTMS over the primary motor foot area significantly improved motor symptoms. The authors report no adverse effects and found daily repeated stimulation was not significantly more effective than a single session, but may maintain motor symptom improvement. (Brain Stimulation)

Neuromodulation Benefits in Fecal Incontinence Explained to Healthcare Providers
Nov. 7, 2013 - A review intended to expand knowledge among non-surgically skilled providers who deal with patients who have fecal incontinence describes neuromodulation as an effective, minimally invasive procedure with a low rate of adverse events and an apparently favorable cost-efficacy profile. (World Journal of Gastroenterology)

Safety Limits for Electrical Lead Heating Explored
Nov. 14, 2013 - In animal studies, physicians investigated what might be a safe lead-tip temperature for induced neurostimulation lead heating, finding 43 degrees C for 30 minutes appeared, in tissue examination seven days after recovery, to not cause clinically evident thermal damage. (Neurosurgery)

News Profile Explains Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Nov. 13, 2013 - A physician who pioneered a deep brain stimulation (DBS) program at Penn State Hershey said none of his more than 300 patients have chosen to reverse the procedure, and adds he thinks "we're just scratching the surface of what DBS can do." (Pennsylvania State University)

Investigators Look At Implanting Biologically Active, Plastic Electrodes Made on 3D Printers
Nov. 13, 2013 - New organic materials that also conduct electricity might become part of a plastic brain implant embedded with nerve-growth factors or other biologically active proteins to make it a biologically active device, in a technology under development in Australia through a $675,000 National Health and Medical Research Council grant. Led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, which includes the University of Wollongong, St. Vincent's Hospital, and La Trobe, Monash and Deakin universities, the project involves electrodes produced by 3D printers that will be implanted in the frontal area of brains of animals who have genes for susceptibility to schizophrenia. (Herald Sun)

Eating Disorder Study Implicates Neural Circuit Differences in Treatment Responders
Nov. 13, 2013 - In research presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, 20 patients suffering from anorexia or bulimia received 20 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over 4-6 weeks. Almost half of patients had a 50% drop in binging and purging; another third had an 80% improvement, and some patients eliminated the behavior altogether. The study targeted an area of the brain involved in executive control of thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Responders showed less connectivity to this regulatory center in brain scans, while non-responders had more, suggesting the latter group might respond to stimulation designed to inhibit rather than excite that region. (Philly.com)

Computational Work May Lead to More Efficient Deep Brain Stimulation Leads
Nov. 13, 2013 - Bryan Howell, a PhD candidate in the department of biomedical engineering at Duke University, presented a poster at the 6th International IEEE EMBS Neural Engineering Conference in San Diego, about modeling electrodes for deep brain stimulation that provide more efficient battery use and precise stimulation. (International Science Grid This Week)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Studied for Smoking Cessation
Nov. 13, 2013 - In a sham-controlled study of smoking cessation in 115 smokers, high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with an advance cue led to a quit rate of 44%. The same stimulation without the cue led to a 25% quit rate, and sham or low-frequency stimulation resulted in only 13% of subjects quitting. The treatment, presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, targeted the prefrontal cortex and insula. (MedPage Today)

Nature Magazine Covers Member's Work on Closed-Loop Sensing for Brain Stimulation Therapies
Nov. 12, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kendall Lee, MD, PhD reported at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in San Diego on preclinical development of a new deep-brain stimulation device, Harmoni, that monitors both electrical activity and neurotransmitter release -- chemical activity -- in response to deep brain stimulation. The system could potentially become a closed-loop device that wirelessly transmits recordings and adjusts stimulation based on the readings. Harmoni's chemical sensing is accomplished through a localized cyclic voltage change that transiently drives electrons off certain neurotransmitters.That induces a measurable current, enabling detection of the unique electrical signature of the neurotransmitter. So far, the developers have been using functional magnetic resonance imaging to watch areas in the brains of rats or pigs that respond to an implant stimulus. Sensors are then placed in these sometimes-distant brain regions. In an observation that might guide development of a device for conditions such as Parkinson's disease, the team was able to show activity in the caudate nucleus following stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, for instance. (Nature)

Heart Failure Patient Describes His Experience With Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Nov. 11, 2013 - A 74-year-old man who received active vagus nerve stimulation starting five months ago as a participant in the Inovate-HF (Increase of Vagal Tone in Heart Failure) clinical trial said his last checkup showed one leaky heart valve had started to heal by itself and he feels as if his heart has received rest and recuperation and he has a new lease on life. His physician adds that the stimulator appears to act therapeutically in a way no drugs have been shown to do. (Mail Online)

Veteran Becomes Advocate for Chronic Pain Patients and Medical Devices
November 2013 - A 33-year-old veteran who found back pain relief in a clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has become an advocate for medical devices and chronic pain sufferers, saying that being able to test-drive a device was incredibly appealing to him after years of opiate dependence. (AdvaMed)

Editorial Cites Evidence for Using Neurostimulation to Reduce Opioid Use

November 2013 - "In all cases of chronic non-cancer pain, neurostimulation should be given some consideration, and if appropriate trialed for possible long-term use," writes International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD, in an editorial on digital drugs reducing or eliminating the need for opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. (Expert Review of Medical Devices)

Efforts Advance to Develop Neural Prosthetics for Spinal Cord Injury
Nov. 6, 2013 - A blog post describes how personalized neuroprosthetics may be enabled by early clinical and pre-clinical research on spinal cord-injured subjects in labs around the world, which are gaining attention through presentations and articles lately. (TED Blog)

State Invests in Neuromodulation Academic Pursuit
Nov. 5, 2013 - Neuromodulation is one of four areas to receive investment from the state of Minnesota through the MnDRIVE initiative funded by the legislature at the University of Minnesota (leading to new faculty openings). The other areas in the two-year, $35.6 million innovation investment are food production, robotics, and water quality. (University of Minnesota)

Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Applications are Explored
November 2013 - In a Neurosurgical Focus article, authors from Columbia University Medical Center and Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California discuss use of deep brain stimulation in motor disorder and psychiatric or emerging indications, and its proposed mechanisms, such as activation and inhibition of neural circuits or reseting of rhythmic activity. They also consider possible future refinements as understanding evolves about the brain's interconnected "oscillations and burst firing patterns that we are just beginning to decode." (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Preliminary Findings Presented on Cost-Effectiveness of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
November 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard North, MD, presented preliminary findings at the 2013 International Congress on Neuropathic Pain showing that in 42 failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) patients followed for a mean of just over 3 years, “SCS was more effective and, given the high failure rate in the reoperation group, incrementally less expensive than reoperation in selected FBSS patients.” (Pain Medicine News)

Study Assessed Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Social Skills in Autism
Nov. 1, 2013 - A randomized, double-blinded clinical trial of 28 adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome, aimed at using sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to stimulate the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, showed a significant improvement one month later in social skills and reduced anxiety. The region stimulated had been shown to be underactive in people with autism and is an area linked with understanding others' thoughts, beliefs and intentions. (New Scientist)

Podcast Describes Deep Brain Stimulation Research in Treatment-Resistant Depression
Nov. 1, 2013 - Science magazine presents a news focus on deep brain stimulation and depression -- the research and its implications for developing more precise treatment -- in a special issue on neuroscience. The staff writer of the news focus was interviewed in an 8-minute podcast available for listening to on the publication's website. (Science)

Review of Deep Brain Stimulation in Four Neuropsychiatric Conditions
Nov. 1, 2013 - A review of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder by psychiatrist Nolan R. Williams, MD and neurologist Michael S. Okun, MD, examines optimizing stimulation for each, its potential positive and negative effects, and likely future innovations involving electrical modulation of neural networks. (Journal of Clinical Investigation)

Analysis Assesses Cost-Effectiveness of Various Test-Phase Options for Sacral Neuromodulation
November 2013 - Using Medicare physician fee schedules and published studies, an analysis of the cost-effectiveness of various test-phase strategies for sacral neuromodulation indicates that unilateral and bilateral Stage I implantation were the most cost-effective in terms of quality-adjusted life years, with bilateral preferred for greater treatment effectiveness. (Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery)

New York State Physician is Among First to Implant MRI-Compatible Spinal Cord Stimulators
Oct. 31, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Stamatos, MD, is described in a press release as having been the first physician in New York state to implant a Medtronic SureScan MRI neurostimulator. The device was implanted in August in a 43-year-old woman who had chronic back pain. He commented it is important for patients who have had previous back surgeries or chronic illness to have an MRI-compatible device due to the likelihood of needing scans performed in the future. (Market Watch)

Studies Suggest Predictors of Improvement After Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
October 2013 - An analysis of three randomized clinical trials to assess health-related quality of life after deep brain stimulation therapy in Parkinson's disease indicates several predictors of quality-of-life improvement after this treatment, including including good levodopa response, young age and good cognitive function. (Touch Neurology)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Study Begins Enrolling Heart Failure Patients in New York
Oct. 31, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian H. Kopell, MD, director of the Center for Neuromodulation at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and colleagues have begun enrolling heart failure patients as part of the international randomized clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation, INOVATE-HF (INcrease Of VAgal TonE in chronic Heart Failure). Active stimulation of the right vagus nerve is intended to slow heart rate by restoring balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The trial compares stimulation and optimum medical therapy to optimum medical therapy alone on a 3:2 basis in patients with moderate symptoms of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. The CardioFit® system under investigation, by Israel-based BioControl Medical, includes a sensor in the right ventricle of the heart to monitor heart activity and adjust stimulation accordingly. International experience in the study is said to indicate that weeks or months of gradually increased stimulation can lead to an improvement in symptoms. (EurekAlert)

BrainGate Receives $1 Million B.R.A.I.N. Research Prize in Israel
Oct. 30, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, and his fellow Brown University professor Arto Nurmikko received the $1 million Moshe Mirilashvili Memorial Fund Breakthrough Research and Innovation in Neurotechnology (B.R.A.I.N.) Prize from  Israeli President Shimon Peres at a technology conference in Tel Aviv for their years of work on the BrainGate brain-computer interface with collaborators from the Providence Department of Veterans Affairs, Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University and Case Western Reserve University. (Brown Daily Herald)

Study Will Compare Effectiveness and Side-Effect Profile of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation vs. Antidepressant Medication
Oct. 29, 2013 - Soterix Medical Inc. of New York City plans a Phase III clinical trial in Brazil comparing transcranial direct current stimulation against antidepressant medication, using its low-voltage tDCS - Limited Total Energy device and the antidepressant Escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro®). With a target enrollment of 240 patients who have major depressive disorder, the trial at the University of Sao Paulo is designed to see if the stimulation is as effective as the medication, but with fewer side effects. The double-blinded trial will have one arm with sham stimulation plus placebo medication, another with sham stimulation and active medication, and a third with active stimulation and placebo medication. (PR Newswire)

Patient With Interstitial Cystitis Receives Pudendal Nerve Stimulator
Oct. 29, 2013 - A teen-ager who had interstitial cystitis and plans to enter the pharmacy field received pudendal nerve stimulation in a procedure at Beaumont Health System’s Women’s Urology Center in Detroit. The treatment is described as potentially helping women or men who have pelvic floor pain and may not respond to sacral neuromodulation (the pudendal nerve branches to the second, third and fourth sacral nerves). Having recently received her permanent implant, she is currently taking university classes online. (Great Falls Tribune)

Advanced Materials May Improve Depth and Focus of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Oct. 29, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Michigan are using metamaterials, which offer specific properties such as focusing electromagnetic radiation to a point smaller than its wavelength, to create next-generation transcranial magnetic stimulation systems. The goal is to penetrate the brain farther and stimulate structures important in treating depression without excessively stimulating nearby regions. Computer simulation indicates the system should be able to induce an electrical field about half a centimeter or more farther than conventional systems while focusing more narrowly. That precision resulted in 2.6 times less brain volume receiving unwanted side-stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Research Into Brain Stimulation Mechanisms Receives Australian Recognition
Oct. 29, 2013 - The Australian Institute of Policy and Science gave Kate Hoy, a clinical neuropsychologist from Monash University, a Young Tall Poppy Science Award for her research into brain stimulation, such as exploring why transcranial direct current stimulation helps improve schizophrenia-associated deficits in working memory. Award recipients must be high achievers under the age of 35. (Melbourne Leader)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improves Quality of Life for Man Diagnosed with Epilepsy in His Teens
Oct. 27, 2013 - A young man whose epilepsy was diagnosed seven years ago, at the age of 15, was able to improve memory, attention, and struggle less in school after turning to vagus nerve stimulation at the age of 16. He had not known he had been having seizures daily, and had been misdiagnosed at first with attention deficit disorder. Now he has been seizure-free for several months, he can seek a driver's license for the first time at age 23. (Sandy Journal)

Possible Biomarker for Effectiveness of Sacral Neuromodulation Explored
Oct. 18, 2013 - The level of inflammatory-response chemokines appears to correlate to the effectiveness of treatment with sacral neuromodulation for interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, and may be a biomarker of treatment response, according to a 24-week follow-up with seven of an initial 16 patients who were treated at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. The study data were presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Diego. (Urology Times)

Pain Physician Discusses Advantages of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Oct. 28, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member James North, MD is quoted in a television segment about the importance of patient selection in the success of spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, and how reliance on opiates to relieve pain is decreasing after a "huge swing" toward their use in the early and mid-1990s. (WWLTV)

"Asleep" Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Experience Presented at Neurological Surgeons' Meeting
Oct. 28, 2013 - Deep brain stimulation surgery while patients are "asleep", guided by MRI imaging using the ClearPoint Neuro Intervention System by MRI Interventions, Inc,. was presented at the annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in San Francisco, CA, USA. A prospective study of 60 patients showed that 98% of electrodes were correctly placed with a single pass into the brain; the average accuracy was 0.6 mm; and surgical times averaged from 3 hours to about 2.5 hours for bilateral and unilateral cases, respectively. One presenter commented that a number of her patients would not have agreed to undergo awake surgery, so she feels being able to use this real-time guidance system has benefitted them in providing a way to manage their movement disorder symptoms. (Market Watch)

Review Examines Referral of Movement Disorder Patients to Deep Brain Stimulation
Oct. 25, 2013 - Patient selection for referral to deep brain stimulation treatment for Parkinson's disease or essential tremor is the subject of a literature review intended to aid primary care physicians in their understanding in order to identify potential candidates. (Gerontology)

Device Maker That Targets Voiding Dysfunction Sees More Revenue, Plus an Operating Loss
Oct. 24, 2013 - Uroplasty, Inc. announced a 5% increase in revenues the second fiscal quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter a year ago. The Minneapolis, MN-based maker of devices to treat voiding dysfunctions took in $6 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, with $4.5 million of that from U.S. sales. The company booked a one-time expense of $1.2 million due to changes in executive management and internal reviews, and overall had an operating loss of $1.9 million. (PR Newswire)

Agency Devotes Research Funding to Improving Deep Brain Stimulation Sensing and Control
Oct. 24, 2013 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced it will spend more than $70 million over five years to enhance real-time detection of signatures of brain-based illnesses and injuries through the Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the Treatment of Neuropsychological Illnesses program. Part of the BRAIN initiative announced earlier this year, which also involves the NSF and NIH, DARPA's particular research program focuses on improving deep brain stimulation technology. (New York Times)

Functional Electrical Stimulation Research Adapts Spinal Cord Stimulation to a New Purpose
Oct. 24, 2013 - Functional electrical stimulation research at the University of Louisville on spinal-cord injury patients aims to reawaken sensory feedback to the spinal cord in an attempt to allow such functions as independent standing. A news feature explains how new hardware and software is being developed at collaborating academic centers to suit this application of spinal cord stimulation better than leads and pulse generators created to address chronic pain. (IEEE Spectrum)

Epilepsy Patients in Ireland Get New Vagal Nerve Stimulation Clinic
Oct. 24, 2013 - A Vagal Nerve Stimulation Clinic opened Sept. 20 at the University Hospital Galway, allowing epilepsy patients in the region to receive full care there rather than have to travel to Dublin. (Galway Advertiser)

Boy With Auditory Brainstem Implant Shows Progress in Spoken Language
Oct. 23, 2013 - A 3-year-old boy who received an auditory brainstem implant five months ago is beginning to use and recognize single words, according to a television report. He was born without a cochlear nerve so would not have been a candidate for a cochlear implant. (CBS Evening News)

Researchers Use Deep Brain Stimulation to Trigger Limb Movements in Injured Rats
Oct. 23, 2013 - Swiss researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that walking and swimming motions were improved in spinal-cord-injured rats when a midbrain area, the mesencephalic locomotor region, received electrical stimulation. Previously investigated to treat disorders such as Parkinson's disease, stimulation to this brain area might also help people with spinal cord injuries, the research suggests. (IEEE Spectrum)

Occipital Nerve Stimulation Shows Success in the Case of a Migraineur
Oct. 22, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Snyder, MD, described a patient's success at reducing her migraines from approximately twice a day to once every two weeks through the use of occipital nerve stimulation. He explained that it takes experience to recognize which patients just need a change in medication or further therapy, and which are appropriate to consider for this treatment that can yield different degrees of response in different patients. (WWSB)

European Headache Federation Issues Guidance on Use of Neurostimulation
Oct. 21, 2013 - Saying further controlled studies of neurostimulation are warranted, the European Headache Federation published a consensus document saying neurostimulation should only be used in patients with intractable headache, carried out at a tertiary care center either as part of a valid study or with such evidence of effectiveness and acceptable side effects. (The Journal of Headache and Pain)

Robot-Guided Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery is Explained in Florida Newscast
Oct. 21, 2013 - A Parkinson's disease patient who received a deep brain stimulation implant during the first such operation using Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System was interviewed on a Florida television news broadcast. Her operation in August at Florida Hospital Celebration Health was the first such of three that month. (Orlando.com)

Study: Combined Medical Management and Spinal Cord Stimulation for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is Economical, Effective
October 2013 - Disability decreased and quality of life increased with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in a two-year Italian study of 80 patients with failed back surgery syndrome that compared costs associated with conventional medical management alone, and SCS plus medical management. The study, presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research,  found that the combined SCS and medical management approach was economical and effective. International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Tim Deer commented in a news article about the work that the study adds to recent data showing SCS makes the care of chronic pain less expensive through reducing use of opioids and other pharmaceuticals. (Pain Medicine News)

Study: Transcutaneous Direct Current Stimulation May Be a Feasible Pain Intervention
Oct. 17, 2013 - A two-year study of 100 pain patients who received sessions of either anodal or cathodal transcutaneous direct current stimulation (tDCS) showed that more than half experienced at least a 50% pain reduction that was either transient or lasted up to 12 weeks. An article describing the study, which was presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Pain Society, concludes that further research may be warranted since tDCS causes minimal harm, is relatively inexpensive, and seems like a feasible approach, although reimbursement may be an issue. (Pain Medicine News)

Neuromodulation Devices Account for Two of Cleveland Clinic's Top 10 Medical Inventions of 2013
Oct. 16, 2013 - The Cleveland Clinic announced Second Sight's Argus II retinal prosthesis, which won FDA approval in February was the first in the list of its top 10 medical innovations for 2013, and NeuroPace Inc.'s responsive neurostimulation system to detect seizure onset and reduce the intensity and frequency of epileptic seizures was third on the list. The news, along with explanatory videos, was also covered by Mass Device. (Cleveland.com)

Functional Electrical Stimulation Research Concerns Adding the Sense of Touch to Prostheses
Oct. 15, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Chicago are working with rhesus monkeys to map the somatosensory cortex response to touch, pressure and grasping in order to learn how sensations might be added to functional electrical prosthetic limbs. (Wired.co.uk)

News Report Presents Florida Woman's Use of Deep Brain Stimulation to Manage Essential Tremor
Oct. 10, 2013 - A reporter with essential tremor reports on one patient who relieved her symptoms arising from the same condition through opting for a deep brain stimulation implant. (WFLA)

Decision Tools Urged for Urologists Assessing Potential Referral to Sacral Neuromodulation
Oct. 11, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Kessler, MD and co-authors  report on factors influencing urologists' referral to sacral neuromodulation that were found in a survey of 108 urologists at two national urological meetings. Factors that influenced the decision to refrain from referral included absolute contraindications, followed by cardiac pacemaker and diabetes mellitus. An important factor for referral, on the other hand, was fecal incontinence. The authors conclude that decision tools should be broadly disseminated to help urologists identify appropriate potential treatment candidates. (Neurology and Urodynamics)

Retrospective Study Documents Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Chronic Headache
Oct. 13, 2013 - Peripheral nerve stimulation reduced frequency and intensity of chronic headache in 46 patients who received either occipital or supraorbital nerve stimulation between 2005 - 2012, according to a study presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting.  (Newswise)

Theory of Memory Enhancement Through Deep Brain Stimulation Proposed

Oct. 11, 2013 - Researchers in Germany propose in an opinion piece that deep brain stimulation may ameliorate memory dysfunction by enhancing normal electrophysiological patterns underlying long-term memory processes within the temporal lobe. (Trends in Cognitive Sciences)

Company Plans to Start Pivotal Clinical Trial of High-Frequency Nerve Block Technology in Amputation Pain
Oct. 10, 2013 - With Investigational Device Exemption from the FDA for its Altius™ System to deliver high-frequency stimulation to sensory nerves in the peripheral nervous system to block chronic pain, Neuros Medical, Inc. can start its pivotal clinical trial of the high-frequency nerve block for management of intractable limb pain in amputees, the company said in a press release. Neuros Medical plans to enroll 130 patients at 15 U.S. institutions for a prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the system's safety and efficacy. (Business Wire)

Review Discusses Neurostimulation Methods and Mood Disorder Treatment
Oct. 9, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Schlaepfer, MD, dean of medical education at the University of Bonn and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Bonn Hospital, writes with colleagues about 15 years of advances in research studies and clinical use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders. The review article maintains that there is compelling and new evidence that Medicare and private insurance should cover VNS therapy for treatment-resistant depression. (Psychiatric Times)

Psychiatrist Discusses Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression at European Meeting
Oct. 9, 2013 - The results of worldwide experience with approximately 60 patients who have received deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression suggest that one of the better target locations is the nucleus accumbens, said Dr. Bruno Millet, professor of psychiatry at the University of Rennes, France, at a meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Barcelona. He is expanding a clinical trial of this target, with sites in 12 centers in France and Geneva. (Clinical Psychiatry News)

Researchers Explore Central Mechanisms of Balance and Chronic Dizziness with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Research
Oct. 9, 2013 - Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could potentially be used to treat chronic dizziness, according to TMS research with healthy subjects into the temporal parietal junction of the right cerebral hemisphere, an area that is implicated in the perception of being upright, based on studies in stroke victims with balance problems. (redOrbit)

Pudendal Nerve Stimulation Draws Patients Seeking Relief of Pelvic Pain, Urinary Condtions
Oct. 9, 2013 - An emerging treatment, pudendal nerve neuromodulation for pelvic floor dysfunction – including debilitating pelvic pain and/or urinary frequency and urgency -- is drawing patients to the Beaumont Health System's Women's Urology Center in Royal Oak, MI, where five women from five states all returned recently for permanent pulse-generator implants and had their picture taken with a pioneer of the technique, urologist Kenneth Peters, MD. (PRWeb)

Parkinson's Disease Patient Recovers Some Motor Functions After Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy
Oct. 8, 2013 - An early-onset Parkinson's disease patient who likened available medicines to a "hailstorm" of pills joked that he might have gotten deep brain stimulation surgery sooner if it were named something like Parkinson's repair, and has recovered much of his motor abilities again through the therapy. (Lancaster Online)

Authors Report Experience with New Deep Brain Stimulation Target for Neuropathic Pain
Oct. 4, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Tipu Aziz, MD, PhD, Alex Green, MD, Liz Moir, RN and colleagues report on bilateral deep brain stimulation to the anterior cingulate cortex significantly reducing neuropathic pain through two years of follow-up in a 49-year-old patient. (Neuroreport)

Interview: Insights from Deep Brain Stimulation into Interventions for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Oct. 3, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Schlaepfer, MD, dean of medical education at the University of Bonn and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Bonn Hospital, describes how three different targets investigated for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment-resistant depression -- the subcallosal cingulate cortex, the anterior limb of the capsula interna and  the nucleus accumbens -- are either close to, or overlap, fibers of the medial forebrain bundle, viewed as a key input structure of the reward system. In a pilot study of patients with treatment-resistant depression, neuromodulation close to the medial forebrain bundle, the ventral tegmental area, led to a rapid response at lower stimulation levels in six responders. He believes DBS may be a transitional technology leading to less invasive treatments based on greater understanding of neural circuits and emerging techniques, such as optogenetics. (Scientific American)

Woman Describes Relief from Chronic Migraine through Neurostimulation
Oct. 2, 2013 - A chronic migraineur who received combined occipital and supraorbital neurostimulation for her condition discusses her treatment in a T.V. interview. (WCSH Portland)

Research Team Explores Limiting Immune Reaction to Brain-Computer Interface
Oct. 2, 2013 - The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.8 million over four years to a research project at Case Western Reserve University that is designed to investigate ways to limit inflammatory response to brain-machine interfaces that can cause neurons near the interface to die and lead to failure of the implant. A candidate drug identified in animal research inhibits a gene cluster, CD14, involved in coordinating cell recognition and binding of serum proteins to damaged cells. (Phys.org)

Australian Man Travels to India for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Oct. 2, 2013 - A 26-year-old carpenter from Australia who had treatment-resistant depression for six years received deep brain stimulation surgery in India Sept. 25 for his condition -- becoming the 67th person to have the surgery for this condition, his surgeon told the Mumbai Mirror. The patient learned of the investigational treatment through the Internet and eventually found a practitioner in India. (Times of India)

Researchers Eye Potential Cell Therapy in Work with Parkinson's Patients Undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation
Oct. 1, 2013 - Researchers in Ontario, Canada have demonstrated the feasibility of using small biopsies taken near the surface of the brain with consent from Parkinson's disease patients during deep brain stimulation surgery and storing and culturing the cells, which expressed nerve growth factors. The work, reported in The FASEB Journal, shows the feasibility of creating an autologous supply of cell substrate that may have therapeutic application in neurologic disease. (London Free Press)

Funding Aims to Develop Real Time Navigational Guidance for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Oct. 1, 2013 - The National Science Foundation has given a biomedical engineering assistant professor, Nuri Ince of the University of Houston, $330,000 for a three-year-project to develop signal-processing of electrode recordings from probes during deep brain stimulation surgery to aid navigation to targets such as the subthalamic nucleus, which sits almost three inches beneath the scalp and measures roughly 6 by 4 mm. (Phys.org)

Focal Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Trialed in Stroke Rehabilitation
Sept. 30, 2013 - Alexander Chervyakov, PhD, of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences presented results of a randomized, blind, sham-controlled study of 22 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke and were undergoing motor recovery. The patients received either sham treatment, MRI-navigated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) at low frequency to the primary motor cortex (M1) of the unaffected hemisphere, or nTMS of high frequency to M1 of the affected hemisphere, or a combination of the nTMS treatments.  Patients who received a combination of stimulation had the best outcome, according to an abstract of the paper presented at the XXI World Congress of Neurology in Vienna on Sept. 25, 2013. Stimulating both hemispheres had the greatest effect on spasticity, the authors concluded, while low-frequency stimulation was best for motor recovery, and high frequency stimulation was effective at pain relief but carried the greatest risk of seizure. (MedPage Today)

Review Assesses Clinical Effectiveness of Neuromodulation to Treat Fecal Incontinence
October 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles, BChir, PhD, FRCS and co-authors report that, according to a meta-analysis of 61 studies, median success rates for sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for fecal incontinence was 63, 58, and 54 percent in the short, medium, and long terms, respectively. The success rate of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) was 59 percent at the longest reported follow-up of 12 months. In four reported studies, transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation resulted in improved quality of life. The authors conclude PTNS may be a useful treatment before SNS, and outcome measures should be standardized so further reports can be meaningfully compared. (British Journal of Surgery)

Final Patient Receives Implant in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Multi-Center Trial

Sept. 29, 2013 - The final patient has been implanted in a safety and efficacy trial of ImThera Medical, Inc.'s hypoglossal nerve stimulation system, aura6000™, for treating moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The study enrolled 57 subjects at nine medical centers in five countries. (ImThera Medical)

Current Progress in Neurostimulation in Cluster Headache Reviewed
October 2013 - Authors from the Danish Headache Center review progress on several neurostimulation strategies that are being investigated for chronic cluster headache, including stimulation of the hypothalamus, occipital nerves and sphenopalatine ganglion. Development of neural plasticity over weeks or months may be a factor, since only stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion has demonstrated a rapid effect. (Cepalalgia)

Authors Weigh Benefits of Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
October 2013 - Since it reduces fluctuations and delaying levodopa-sensitive complications, early deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease can be considered to alter the course of the disease, say two authors in an article about the risks and benefits of subthalamic neurostimulation for the disease. (Lancet Neurology)

Using Optogenetics, Scientists Pinpoint a Feeding Circuit in Mice
Sept. 27, 2013 - In research published in the journal Science, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina and collaborators report using optogenetics to confirm neurocircuitry within the lateral hypothalamus that when activated in mice drove eating even when energy needs were met. The study targeted an outcropping of the amygdala, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and GABA neurons there, whose nerve fibers have branched synapses that innervate the lateral hypothalamus.  Inhibition of this circuit suppressed feeding. (Medical Xpress)

Optogenetic Approach to Visual Prosthesis is Subject of $625,000 MacArthur Grant
Sept. 25, 2013 - Among the 24 new fellows announced by the MacArthur Foundation -- who will receive an unrestricted $625,000 to support their work -- is one who is marrying optogenetics with signal processing to vastly improve retinal prostheses. Sheila Nirenberg, PhD, associate professor of computational biomedicine and physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medical College, has demonstrated in mice the ability to detect the interplay of how healthy light-detecting retinal cells encode visual data that is relayed to basal ganglia, and apply that understanding to improve signaling in retinal prostheses to enable challenging tasks that were essentially beyond the scope of existing devices, such as facial recognition. Applications to other senses or machine vision might also be possible, she said. She will describe her work Oct. 3 at a computing conference in Minneapolis, MN, and plans to apply the funding to pursue eventual clinical trials. (MacArthur Foundation)

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Goals Described
September 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Tim Deer is quoted in an article introducing the formation of neurostimulation guidelines, which have been developed by the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (Anesthesiology News)

Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Stroke Rehabilitation to Be Studied
Sept. 23, 2013 - Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) will be trialled at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow for three weeks on up to 10 stroke-recovery patients who have little or no movement in one arm. Another 10 patients will only undergo rehabilitation exercises. All will receive six weeks total rehabilitation exercise therapy; the VNS group will undergo the last half of the six-week period with their stimulators switched on. (Mail Online)

Review Analyzes 60 Studies of Neuromodulation in Eating Disorder
Sept. 20, 2013 - A review of 60 studies found that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation both yielded evidence of reduced symptoms in anorexia nervosa and
bulimia nervosa. The authors at the Section of Eating Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London conclude that drawing from such findings and emerging neural models of eating disorder, treatment approaches "are highly unlikely to remain 'brainless' ". (European Eating Disorders Review)

The Potential Promise of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression is Described
Sept. 22, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Bristol are looking at a number of brain targets for potentially addressing treatment-resistant depression with deep brain stimulation. (The Telegraph)

Patient's Tourette Syndrome Tics Relieved with Deep Brain Stimulation
Sept. 17, 2013 - The first U.S. Tourette's syndrome patient to be treated by deep brain stimulation (DBS) speaks at a community college about how receiving DBS resolved his lifelong, debilitating tics. (YouTube)

Study Reports Benefits of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Major Depressive Disorder
Sept. 16, 2013 - Neuronetics, Inc. of Malvern, PA reported that its transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) NeuroStar therapy for major depressive disorder (MDD) was subject to an observational study, "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Quality of Life Outcome Measures in Clinical Practice", which was published in CNS Spectrums in July. The study concluded TMS is effective in treating acute MDD and is associated with improved quality of life and functional status. The authors assessed 307 outpatients from 42 clinical TMS practice sites in the United States who had a primary diagnosis of MDD and had not benefitted from  antidepressant medication. (PR Newswire)

News Outlet Reports on Philadelphia-Area Parkinson's Disease Patient's Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Sept. 15, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwini Sharan, MD, performs deep brain stimulation surgery on a Parkinson's disease patient while the process is documented in a news feature. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Hand-held Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device Undergoing Development in U.S.
Sept. 13, 2013 - New Jersey-based GammaCore's handheld external vagus nerve stimulation device to minimize effects of chronic migraine is expected to be submitted for FDA approval early next year, after completion of clinical studies, according to a business profile. The prescription device has received approval in Europe, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia, but has not launched commercially. (NJ.com)

Patient Receives MRI While Implanted with Spinal Cord Stimulation Device Designed to Allow Full-Body Scans
Sept. 12, 2013 - An MRI center in South Bend, IN announced it performed the first MRI in the U.S. on a patient who had a neurostimulator that was recently approved for conditional use in full-body MRI scans. (Market Watch)

At Meeting, Researchers Report Sacral Neuromodulation is Better Than Standard Medical Treatment for Refractory Overactive Bladder
Sept. 11, 2013 - In a six-month study of patients with refractory overactive bladder, 51 of whom received sacral neuromodulation and 77 who received standard medical treatment, the neuromodulation was significantly better than an additional trial of standard medical treatment, according to results presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the International Continence Society in Barcelona by researchers from Kansas City. (Renal & Urology News)

Actor and Musician Raises Funds for Album Prior to Second Surgery for Benign Essential Tremor
Sept. 11, 2013 - Brad Carter, a CSI actor and musician who was videotaped playing guitar during his deep brain stimulation surgery for benign essential tremor, is raising funds to produce an album and anticipating a second surgery now that his left hand is also starting to shake. (CBS Los Angeles)

Growing Interest in Auditory Brainstem Implants Leads to Optogenetics Collaboration
September 2013 - In Europe and in U.S. trials, auditory brainstem implants (ABI) have been tried in pediatric patients who have auditory pathway problems other than tumors, with some support for the concept that this population may have a greater capacity to develop some post-implant speech perception. Researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland are collaborating to develop a flexible electrode array that better conforms to this brain target and also to develop ABI electrodes that deliver blue light to excite photosensitized cochlear nucleus neurons through optogenetics. ABI bypasses damaged or absent cochlea and auditory nerves, delivering electrical impulses to the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, which is the first brain rely center for processing of sound information. (The Hearing Journal)

Neuromodulation is Among the Methods Being Explored for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Sept. 9, 2013 - Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation, and other current or investigational interventions for treatment-resistant depression are described in an overview. The article says subsets of depression may respond to different therapies based on different levels of activity in certain brain regions revealed in brain scanning. (Reuters)

Optogenetics May Hold Promise As a Neuromodulation Tool in Cognitive Neuroscience
Sept. 6, 2013 - Cognitive psychology researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands review the development of optogenetics as a potentially useful tool for cognitive neuroscience studies into the neural underpinnings of conditions that are believed to be affected by temporal and spatial phenomena in brain circuits, such as an excitation-inhibition imbalance in nerve firing or synchronized oscillations of nerve activity. (Frontiers in Psychology)

Clear Biocompatible Compound Might Permit a Window the the Brain for Laser-Based Therapeutics
Sept. 5, 2013 - Researchers at the University of California, Riverside recast biocompatible dental cement into a formulation with a transparent crystal structure. The implant material has potential application for creating a "window through the skull" to enable light-based medical purposes such as optogenetic neuromodulation therapy or laser-based diagnostics. Their paper, "Transparent Nanocrystalline Yttria-Stabilized-Zirconia Calvarium Prosthesis," was published online Aug. 21, 2013 in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. (Extreme Tech)

Overview of Deep Brain Stimulation Potential for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Sept. 5, 2013 - BioPharm Insight reviews the status of research into various deep brain stimulation (DBS) targets for treatment-resistant depression, saying DBS is being pioneered for a range of central nervous system conditions. (FT.com)

Company's Non-Invasive Approach to Vagus Nerve Stimulation Described
Sept. 1, 2013 -  Addressing the issue of the inherent challenges involved in surgically accessing the vagus nerve to implant cuff electrodes prior to a lengthy recovery period, ElectroCore Medical of Bernards Township, New Jersey is developing non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapies. The devices are being developed to treat or prevent symptoms of serious headache conditions, including migraines and cluster headaches, and bronchoconstriction including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. (Implantable Devices)

Academy Guidance Addresses Coverage Issues for Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy
Sept. 3, 2013 - In a companion to a recent guideline on the use of vagus nerve stimulation for treating epilepsy, the American Academy of Neurology has published guidance and background to reduce obstacles for coverage, especially where uncertainties exist and levels of evidence are lower. (Neurology)

Radio Show Looks at Deep Brain Stimulation for Established and Emerging Indications
Aug. 28, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society Expert Panel moderator Tipu Aziz, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Oxford, describes deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a concatenation of biological effects due to stimulating nerves in the target area as well as fibers of more distal nerves in an interview with BBC radio in which a chronic pain patient's DBS surgery is followed. The patient remarks afterward that his pain level and functioning improved. Parkinson's disease and depression are also mentioned in the 30-minute segment. (BBC Radio)

Columnist Describes Potential for Exploring New Knowledge of Neurological Disorders
Aug. 28, 2013 - A columnist notes that after more than 100,000 people have received deep brain stimulation systems, they are becoming a standard of care, and reports on the closed-loop sensing-and-stimulation capability of Medtronic, Inc.'s Activa PC+S deep brain stimulation system. (Forbes)

Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Chronic Pain Enrolls Its First Patient
Aug. 27, 2013 - Calling chronic post-surgical pain a major unaddressed need, International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD, was quoted along with INS member Eric Grigsby, MD, in an announcement about the first patient enrollment in a clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation targeting the dorsal root ganglion. The approach could potentially expand treatment options for underserved patients who have chronic pain following such procedures as hernia surgery or amputation, Deer said. The ACCURATE Study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Spinal Modulation’s Axium Neurostimulator System for the treatment of chronic pain affecting the lower limbs, and is expected to enroll 152 patients in up to 25 medical centers in the U.S. (Business Wire)

Authors Discuss Neuromodulation and Post-Amputation Pain
August 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Paul Lynch, MD and Tory McJunkin, MD, and colleagues write in a column on interventional pain medicine about treatment of post-amputation pain with neuromodulation. The authors state that peripheral nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation may be viable options for patients in whom alternative treatment methods have failed, adding that promising results in a study of the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation merit additional research. (Pain Medicine News)

NIH-Funded Trial Will Be First U.S. Study of Auditory Brainstem Implant in Patients Who Have Never Heard
Aug. 26, 2013 - The FDA-approved clinical trial of auditory brainstem implant (ABI) on 10 children aged 2 - 5, paid for with a grant by the National Institutes of Health, will be the first time the procedure will be studied in a clinical trial in the U.S. on people who have never had the ability to hear. ABI was developed in 1979 at the nonprofit House Research Institute, and approved for use in people aged 12 or older who had lost the ability to hear due to damage of the cochlear nerve. About 10 years ago, research in Italy on young children provided data in that patient group. It is estimated about half of otherwise healthy young children receiving ABI may go on to develop speech. (Southern California Public Radio KPCC)

A Toddler Says His First Word 14 Months After Receiving an Auditory Brainstem Implant in Italy
Aug. 24, 2013 - Fourteen months after receiving an auditory brainstem implant, a 2-year-old boy in the UK who was one of the youngest people to get the implant, uttered his first word, "mam". The boy was diagnosed at birth with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. (Medical Daily)

Deep Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Conditions is Reviewed in Psychiatric Journal
August 2013 - The August issue of Psychiatric Annals is devoted to a review of the latest research in deep brain stimulation, since, as pointed out in an accompanying editorial, it is showing increasingly positive effects in the movement toward resolution of several treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders. (Psychiatric Annals)

News Feature Examines Potential of Applying Electrical Stimulation to Immune Disease
Aug. 22, 2013 - A feature about the potential of electrostimulation to treat immune disease says that although nerve-stimulating devices have been available for years, bioelectronic therapies are beginning to ramp up, (MIT Tech Review)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation System Helps Student Live a Full Life
Aug. 21, 2013 - A young woman who is entering graduate school this month describes the benefits of her vagus nerve stimulation system that controls the epilepsy she developed at age 11. Since receiving the implant in 2005 she has been able to get a driver's license, travel alone for three months to India, and participate in 10-kilometer runs. (Winston-Salem Journal)

Clinial Trial Starts in Phrenic Nerve Stimulation for Central Sleep Apnea
Aug. 20, 2013 - Minneapolis-based Respicardia announced the beginning of its pivotal clinical trial of a phrenic nerve stimulator, the Remede System, designed to trigger action of the diaphragm to relieve central sleep apnea that is experienced by many heart failure and atrial fibrillation patients. The first patients were enrolled in Ohio, Missouri, and Nebraska. The trial is expected to eventually include 25 centers in the U.S. and a few in Europe. (Mass Device)

Auditory Brainstem Implant Clinical Trial in Children Receives Research Funding
Aug. 20, 2013 - The National Institute on Deafness and Communications Disorders has provided a five-year grant for a clinical trial of auditory brainstem implantation in children who have congenital bilateral deafness resulting from a malformed or non-existent cochlea or hearing nerve. The study is being led by the House Research Institute and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. (Newswise)

Teen-Ager with Dystonia Chooses to Have Deep Brain Stimulation
Aug. 12, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, is featured in an article about implanting a deep brain stimulation system in a 17-year-old girl who had lifelong dystonia. She sought treatment at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Neurological Restoration, which he directs, with the hope of establishing an independent life. (Wall Street Journal)

Article Highlights Ethical Considerations for BRAIN Initiative
Aug. 14, 2013 - A Nature news article features neuroethicists' perspectives on the need for  establishing ethical standards in neuroscience, in light of recent advances in brain research and technology that influence cognition, emotion and movement.  The article precedes next week's commission on bioethics meeting, where the agencies participating in the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative and neuroethicists will start developing ethical standards for neuroscience research in human and animal subjects. (Nature)  

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Goals Lauded
Aug. 7, 2013 - Rapid neuromodulation advances prompted development of guidelines by the 60-member Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Tim Deer, MD, explained in Pain Medicine News. Announced at the International Neuromodulation Society's 11th World Congress, the guidelines are designed to clarify patient selection and reduce complications associated with neurostimulation. The guidance should aid pain physicians overall, commented Ebby Varghese, MD, medical director of the Interventional Pain Medicine Clinic and assistant professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Missouri-Columbia, saying, "It is important that all physicians, no matter what their background is, understand when neuromodulation should be used." (Pain Medicine News)

Parkinson's Disease Patient Receives Deep Brain Neuromodulation System That Senses and Records Brain Activity
Aug. 7, 2013 -  In an operation at at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, a Parkinson's disease patient was the first to receive a deep brain stimulation implant that senses and records electrical activity in the brain, Medtronic, Inc.'s Activa® PC+S DBS system, which received CE mark in Europe in January. In coming months, the system is expected to undergo investigational use in the U.S. (Thomson Reuters)

First U.S. Patients Implanted with Conditionally MRI-Safe Spinal Cord Stimulators
Aug. 6, 2013 International Neuromodulation (INS) members Ali Rezai, MD, David Caraway, MD, PhD, Mehul Desai, MD, MPH, are among the first physicians to implant Medtronic, Inc.'s spinal cord stimulation systems that were recently cleared by the FDA as conditionally safe for full-body MRI scans under specific conditions, the RestoreSensor® SureScan® MRI neurostimulation system, the company announced today. In addition, INS member Benjamin Venger, MD, also announced implanting the new system in one of the first patients in the Western U.S. Dr. Rezai, president of the INS North American chapter, directs the Center for Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, which also issued an announcement. (Thomson Reuters)

Clinical Researchers Recommend Spinal Cord Stimulation for Mixed Leg Pain from Spinal Stenosis Prior to Surgical Intervention
Aug. 6, 2013 - A team of physicians at the Department of Pain Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, in Nishinomiya, Japan retrospectively analyzed data from 91 patients who had mixed leg pain from lumbar spinal stenosis, 41 of whom responded to a trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and opted for an implant between 2003 - 2011. After one year of neuromodulation, 95% of the patients had a good response. Although there has been no established view on the usefulness of SCS in managing this type of pain, the authors conclude based on these results that SCS should be actively adopted to treat indicated patients as an intermediate measure between conservative therapy and surgery.

Reports at Meeting Show Neurostimulation Benefits in Adult and Adolescent Migraineurs
Aug. 6, 2013 - At the recent International Headache Society congress in Boston, researchers reported results showing more than 80% of chronic migraine patients -- adults and adolescents -- benefited from neurostimulation combining subraorbital and occipital nerve stimulation. (PR Web)

Article Depicts Future of Potentially Delivering Therapy One Nerve Cell at a Time
July 26, 2013 - Introducing or erasing specific action potentials may be a future therapeutic mode involving microscopic implants with the capacity to both read, and deliver, individual nerve cell impulses, according to a news feature that describes the "electroceuticals" initiative of GlaxoSmithKline. (IEEE Spectrum)

Military Publication Describes Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Aug. 1, 2013 - U.S. Army veterans describe finding relief of up to 95% from "excruciating, horrific" pain through treatment with spinal cord stimulation, which is called an emerging technology that has been in use for some three decades. Their provider explains it uses electrical signaling, and can improve blood flow as well as functional recovery -- allowing for reduced reliance on pain medication and later removal if needed.  (dcmilitary.com)

Voiding Dysfunction Treatment Drives Sales Growth
Aug. 1, 2013 - Uroplasty, Inc. reported its first sequential growth for three quarters in its quarterly results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, ended June 30, 2013. Sales of its devices to treat voiding dysfunctions grew 11% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Overall, the company's global sales increased 5% to $5.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $5.6 million in the fiscal first quarter a year ago. (MSNMoney)

Company's Nonivasive Depression Treatment to be Tried in Cases of Postpartum Depression
July 30, 2013 - Neuronetics, Inc. announced enrollment of the first five patients in an open-label clinical trial to evaluate its transcranial magnetic stimulation system in women with major depressive disorder (MDD) who experience postpartum symptoms. Study sites across the U.S. are enrolling females ages 18-50 who have been diagnosed with MDD with postpartum onset within six months of childbirth. Investigators have established the primary endpoint as safety and efficacy observed following acute treatment (up to eight weeks); the secondary endpoint is safety and efficacy observed in the study population in clinical follow up through 12 months. (PR Newswire)

Study: Consider Offering Spinal Cord Stimulation Sooner in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
July 31, 2013 - To facilitate functional rehabilitation from complex regional pain syndrome, spinal cord stimulation should be considered earlier when there is a lack of progress from conservative measures, according to a research analysis in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The recommendation was recently discussed in an online Expert Panel session by members of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Newswise)

Station Profiles Woman Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor
July 28, 2013 - A woman in Colorado with gradually worsening essential tremor received a deep brain stimulation implant from a team at Swedish Medical Center that has been in place for a year, according to a television report about how the implant has minimized her symptoms. (KUSA)

Television Show Features Neurostimulation for Migraine
July 26, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society Member Joel Saper, MD, commented about a publicized case of a teen-ager who found migraine relief from neurostimulation to the occipital and/or supraorbital nerves that there remains much to learn about long-term treatment with the technique. (ABC News)

Swedish Study Tracks Complication Rate in Epilepsy Patients With Vagus Nerve Stimulators
July 17, 2013 - In a retrospective study of 143 epilepsy patients who had received vagus nerve stimulators, researchers in Sweden found in follow-up of 4 - 5 years that the two main complications were infection following the implant procedure (3.5% superficial, 3.5% deep and requiring explant) and vocal cord palsy (5.6%) due to damage to the vagus nerve. (Seizure)

Hong Kong News Feature Describes Current and Emerging Uses of Deep Brain Stimulation
July 8, 2013 - Deep brain stimulation was first introduced in Hong Kong in 2007 and advances in the procedure are offering relief for patients with Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions. (South China Morning Post)

Most Participants Benefitted During Three-Year Study of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder
July 25, 2013 - Of 29 patients with overactive bladder who completed three years of treatment with percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, some 77% maintained moderate or marked improvement in overactive bladder symptoms, according to research published in the Journal of Urology. (Medical Xpress)

Preclinical Study Examines Analgesic Effects of Different Spinal Cord Stimulation Frequencies and Intensities
August 2013 - Laboratory studies in rats suggest that different peripheral and spinal segmental mechanisms may be involved in attenuating mechanical hypersensitivity when using spinal cord stimulation (SCS) at different frequencies and amplitudes than conventional 50 Hz SCS. In a rat model of neuropathic pain, high frequency SCS had an earlier onset of effect and required a lower intensity to block peripheral Aβ fibers, but failed to significantly inhibit excitability in spinal wide-dynamic–range neurons. The authors hypothesize that SCS at different frequencies may induce greater pain inhibition at the higher intensities due to activation of more A-fibers. In addition, because kilohertz-level SCS delivers many more electrical pulses than does 50 Hz SCS of the same stimulus intensity and treatment duration, it may also induce a stronger pain inhibition than 50 Hz SCS. Yet, it is also possible that different frequencies of SCS may have distinct mechanisms of action, as with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and electroacupuncture. (Anesthesiology)

Grant Funds Research Into Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Pain and Other Symptoms in Spinal-Cord Injury Patients
July 23, 2013 - With a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Miami VA Healthcare System plan a Phase 1 clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to reduce pain and other symptoms in up to 12 spinal cord injury patients. The study is based on preclinical research indicating that stimulating the periaqueductal gray matter for a few weeks after spinal cord injury reduces sensitivity to pain, improves food transit to the stomach and intestines, normalizes insulin levels, reduces development of periods of high blood pressure (autonomic dysreflexia) and enhances movement. DBS has been used in clinical trials to stimulate the periaqueductal gray region of a few hundred patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain. Approximately 40 of those individuals had a spinal cord injury. (University of Miami)

First Patient Undergoes Treatment in U.S. Clinical Trial of Occipital Nerve Stimulation with Medical Management for Chronic Migraine
July 19, 2013 - In Springfield, Mo., International Neuromodulation Society member Benjamin Lampert, MD, has treated the first patient to participate in a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial -- OPTIMISE -- to determine whether occipital nerve stimulation with Boston Scientific Corporation's Precision™ System can safely and effectively treat chronic migraine when used in conjunction with anti-migraine medications. (PR Newswire)

Study: Sacral Neuromodulation Effective After Overactive Bladder Patients Discontinue Botulinum Toxin Therapy
July 18, 2013 - Patients who are dissatisfied with or fail treatment of overactive bladder with intravesical botulinum toxin can respond to sacral neuromodulation (SNM) with a success rate of test stimulation and one-year satisfaction rate that are comparable to the success rate of patients who did not have botulinum toxin treatment, according to an observational study of 20 patients. An explanation is that SNM is thought to have a central nervous system effect through afferent signaling that is important for storage and voiding, while the effect of botulinum toxin injection is local, reducing cell activity through chemical denervation that temporarily inhibits neuromuscular nerve signaling. It is unclear which should come first in the treatment algorithm since both are considered minimally invasive. One advantage of SNM is the long and permanent treatment effect, where botulinum treatment needs repeat sessions more or less annually. (The Journal of Urology)

Gait Improved in Parkinson's Disease Patients Who Received Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain
August 2013 - A team who treated chronic pain in five Parkinson's disease patients with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) noticed a subsequent improvement in gait suggest in a research abstract that brain mechanisms and the synergistic effect of l-dopa administration seen in animal studies of SCS-induced locomotion should be explored to better understand mechanisms underlying the improvement. (Clinical Neurophysiology)

Physicians Present Findings of Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Pediatric Patients
July 15, 2013 - In an abstract presenting data from six pediatric primary dystonia patients, MRI-guided placement of deep brain stimulation leads while the patient was asleep appeared to be straightforward and had an average accuracy of lead placement of less than 1 mm. The data developed at the University of California, San Francisco, were presented at the 2013 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders. (MRI Interventions)

Shaped Field Pulses by Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Inhibited Pain in Volunteers and Fibromyalgia Patients
July 12, 2013 - Tests on 16 volunteers and 16 fibromyalgia patients indicate that a novel multi-coil repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation configuration, designed to penetrate deeply enough to reach the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, may be a safe and effective treatment for acute or chronic pain. The optimum stimulation configuration was determined in the volunteer group through placebo-controlled crossover variations that were evaluated in PET/CT scans. In the study carried out at Stanford University School of Medicine, four weekly stimulation sessions at 10 Hz reduced fibromyalgia pain 43%, and pain inhibition lasted four weeks post-treatment. (ProHealth)

Study Compared Patients Perceptions of Spinal Cord Stimulation with Constant Current or Constant Voltage
July 9, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Stephanie Washburn, PhD, Roger Catlin, MD, and Bernard Canlas, MD, along with Klee Bethel, MD, report on a randomized, double-blinded crossover study that compared perceptions of constant current and constant voltage spinal cord simulation during a trial period in 30 chronic pain patients. The study showed that 70% of patients preferred constant current stimulation and that it produced a significantly larger decrease in pain scores. (Neuromodulation)

Review Supports Use of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Back and Leg Pain
July 8, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Rod S. Taylor, PhD and Philippe Rigoard, MD and colleagues have published a meta-analysis of 63 studies of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in chronic back and leg pain (CBLP), which supports SCS as an effective pain relieving treatment for CBLP with predominant leg pain with or without a prior history of back surgery. The mean level of pain relief was 58% at an average follow-up of 24 months; however, no predictive factors were identified. (Neuromodulation)

University of Oxford Researchers Demonstrate Therapeutic Feasibility of Brain-Computer Interface Feedback
July 12, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alex Green, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Oxford have published a research article in the Annals of Neurology about a proof-of-concept study of adaptive deep brain stimulation (aDBS) in eight patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. Feedback was obtained by recording and processing local field potentials directly from the stimulating electrodes. In the study, aDBS was applied for 10 minute periods and compared to the effect of no stimulation, constant stimulation (cDBS), and randomized intermittent stimulation. Both blinded and unblinded assessment of motor effect were performed. Motor scores improved by 66% (unblinded) and 50% (blinded) during aDBS, which were 29% (p = 0.03) and 27% (p = 0.005) better than cDBS, respectively. These improvements were achieved with a 56% reduction in stimulation time compared to cDBS, and a corresponding reduction in energy requirements. (University of Oxford)

Study Tracked Impedance Changes During Deep Brain Stimulation for Up to Five Years in 94 Patients
July 11, 2013 - At study published in Brain Stimulation of deep brain stimulation in 94 patients over a period ranging from six months to five years concludes that impedance stability cannot be taken for granted over the long term. Although the study was not designed to link the fluctuations to clinical outcome, it does indicate the importance of continued followup to monitor and adjust stimulation levels. (Red Orbit)

Television Segment Features Deep Brain Stimulation Post-Surgical Programming for Parkinson's Disease
July 11, 2013 - A neurosurgeon explains that deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease tends to smooth out the body's response to medications and helps with motion, stiffness and tremor, in a television segment showing a patient have his device programmed for the first time following surgery. (WNCT)

Deep Brain Stimulation Seen to Improve Survival in Severe Parkinson's Disease
July 10, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Nottingham say they have shown for the first time that deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery targeting the subthalamic nucleus in advanced Parkinson's disease provides a survival advantage. The study examined 106 patients who underwent DBS and 41 who declined. The DBS group had significantly longer survival and were less likely to enter residential care than patients whose condition was merely managed medically. The authors suggest the effect may have several reasons, ranging from better functions (such as swallowing) to an as-yet unrecognized benefit from reduction in dopaminergic medication. (Neurology, Neurosurgery & Pyschiatry)

Clinical Trial to Start That Examines Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation in Low Back Pain
July 1, 2013 - Enrollment will be beginning in a clinical trial meant to compare the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation (SCS), peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNfS), or both SCS and PNfS for treating chronic low back pain or low back and leg pain. (Arizona Pain Monthly)

Child Receives Auditory Brainstem Implant at Dubai Hospital
July 11, 2013 - A three-year-old girl born without a cochlear nerve has become the first child to receive an auditory brainstem implant in the United Arab Emirates. (Gulf News)

Video Presents Anorexia Patient Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation System in Clinical Trial
July 10, 2013 - An anorexia patient describes participating in a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation at Toronto General Hospital, where her neurosurgeons are also interviewed regarding the intervention. (The Windsor Star)

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient is Featured After Treatment for Essential Tremor
July 10, 2013 - A guitar-playing actor who developed benign essential tremor, Brad Carter, was featured in an online-video news event by the University of California, Los Angeles hospital where he'd received a deep brain stimulation implant to control the tremor. (New York Daily News)

Randomized Controlled Trial Designed to Study Effects of Neuromodulation Therapy on Tinnitus
July 10, 2013 - Researchers in the United Kingdom describe a two-center randomized controlled clinical trial design to evaluate a tinnitus therapy under development, acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation by Adaptive Neuromodulation GmbH of Koln, Germany. The design is intended to estimate efficiency of the therapy compared to placebo, as well as examine physiological effects with respect to the putative mechanism of action, disruption of hyper synchronous neuronal activity. (Trials Journal)

Prospective Study Assesses Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy in Refractory Epilepsy
July 5, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Angelo Franzini, MD and Giovanni Broggi, MD, and colleagues present a prospective study of 39 refractory epilepsy patients who received vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and were followed for a median period of 36 months. The study outcome suggests that younger patient age and focal or multifocal epilepsy are related to better seizure control and cognitive outcome; also, that VNS could be considered in severe conditions, such as drug-refractory cases. (Epilepsy & Behavior)

Two-Week INS Member Online Discussion Starts on Neuromodulation and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
July 7, 2013 - Through July 21, the International Neuromodulation Society is hosting an online discussion for members regarding neuromodulation and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The discussion is led by Frank Huygen, MD, PhD, FIPP, professor of Pain Medicine and head of the Center for Pain Medicine at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Marc Russo, MBBS DA FANZCA FFPMANZCA, secretary on the INS board, director of the Hunter Pain Clinic in New South Wales and the Inpatient CRPS Management Program at Lindard Private Hospital in Newcastle, Australia. Dr. Russo is leading an investigator-initiated trial of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation in CRPS. Meanwhile, the March/April issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface carries a review article by several INS members that sets forth a rationale for considering spinal cord stimulation for CRPS earlier than a last-resort therapy. (INS)

Second Visual Prosthetic Receives CE Mark Approval
July 4, 2013 - The Alpha IMS by Germany's Retina Implant is the second device to receive CE mark for sale in the European Union for patients who have lost vision due to the progressive condition retinitis pigmentosa. The device has no external hardware and requires a 10-hour surgery, providing a visual prosthesis that may help patients distinguish light and dark and possibly some objects, aiding mobility. (MedCity News)

Cortical Plasticity in Motor Performance Appears Independent of Factors Such As Polarity of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
July 1, 2013 - A sham-controlled motor-performance study on 11 participants showed that transcranial direct current stimulation induced behavioral changes in the non-dominant hand as a consequence of mechanisms associated with use-dependent cortical plasticity. Motor function improved significantly with stimulation, compared to sham. The authors conclude the plasticity was independent of the electrode arrangement, whether it was bilateral or unilateral, with either cathodal or anodal stimulation over the dominant motor cortex. (BMC Neuroscience)

Protocol for Randomized Controlled Study of Subcutaneous Nerve Stimulation in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Calls for Up to 400 Patients
June 25, 2013 - Although case series show subcutaneous nerve stimulation (SQS) may provide clinically important levels of pain relief for patients who have failed back surgery syndrome (SBSS), the SubQStim study will be the first randomized controlled clinical trial to investigate the use of SQS for patients with FBSS, compared to optimized medical management (OMM) alone. International Neuromodulation Society members Sam Eldabe, MD, Michael Kern, MD, Rod Taylor, PhD, and colleagues have published their trial protocol that calls for up to 400 patients at approximately 33 centers in Europe and Australia, who will be randomized 1:1 to the SQS or OMM arms. (Trials Journal)

Orthopedists Hear About Anticipated Future Growth of Neuromodulation Procedures
June 17, 2013 - Discussing the impact of business strategy and the FDA regulatory environment on the future of spine surgery at the 11th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain-Management Driven ASC Conference, a pain-management specialist remarked that neuromodulation will be utilized more in coming years for a variety of conditions, from obesity to sleep apnea, with European market approvals generally occurring prior to U.S. approvals. (Becker's ASC Review)

Proof-of_Concept Data Appear Promising for Planned Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Post-Stroke Aphasia Recovery
June 27, 2013 - Stroke patients performed two to three times better in 10 daily sessions of speech and language rehabilitation after first receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the side of the brain unaffected by the stroke, compared to patients who only received sham stimulation, according to a proof-of-concept study in Germany and Canada that was published in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association. The stimulation was designed to temporarily decrease activity in the unaffected brain hemisphere, essentially driving the effort in rehabilitation to the side that was healing from injury. A multi center trial of TMS in stroke recovery, Northstar, is set to begin in October. (CTV News)

Data From Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Cluster Headache Reported at Meeting
June 24, 2013 - Early results of a clinical trial of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation in cluster headache were reported at the 11th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society, electroCore reported in a news release. Data from 21 patients, five with 12 months of experience with the company's gammaCore device, showed benefits in both time to relief from an acute cluster headache, and a decrease in attack frequency. (Business Wire)

Blogger Share Success of His Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
June 21, 2013 - Calling his deep brain stimulation implant for Parkinson's disease "life-changing," a blogger has posted a video demonstrating his uncontrolled motor symptoms without treatment and the rapid improvement when the device is switched back on. (Medical Daily)

Lead Migration Prospective Trial Results Called Promising
June 21, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member and past president Giancarlo Barolat, MD, is quoted as praising a technique of leaving slack in a spinal cord stimulation lead during trial stimulation to avoid lead migration, presented at the Pain Society of the Carolinas Annual Meeting by Erza Riber, MD. Riber named the technique "Lily's Loop" after his daughter, and in 22 consecutive patients who had the loop on one side and not the other, 73% of non looped leads migrated after three days compared to 22% of looped leads. Dr. Barolat encouraged more prospective studies and said the initial results appear promising although Dr. Riber acknowledged the technique is not perfect and some leads may migrate in a cephalad or upward position, which is rare otherwise. (Pain Medicine News)

Presenters Document Long-Term Benefits and Complication Rates of Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorder
June 20, 2013 - Three surveys presented in poster sessions at the annual International Congress on Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders indicate that deep brain stimulation can provide long-term relief of movement disorders with few infections or complications, although controlling motor symptoms does not affect the underlying rate of disease progression. (MedPage Today)

News Story Updates Progress of U.S. Boy With Auditory Brainstem Implant
June 20, 2013 - A 3-year-old boy who received an auditory brainstem implant three weeks ago as the first participant in a U.S. clinical trial of the technology in children under 12 is likely still adapting to having his brain organize itself to use sound, his mother said in an interview about the development. (CBS News)

Overview Addresses Psychological Screening of Prospective Spinal Cord Stimulation Patients with Chronic Pain
June 20, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Tory McJunkin, MD and Paul Lynch, MD and co-authors write in Pain Medicine about studies concerning psychological screening issues and patient selection for spinal cord stimulation. (Pain Medicine)

Long-term Followup Shows Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Hereditary Dystonia
June 19, 2013 - In a study of generalized dystonia patients whose condition is due to a genetic defect, a pair of physicians report in the Journal of Neuroscience that in 47 consecutive patients treated with deep brain stimulation, the severity of symptoms dropped to less than 20% of baseline within two years of device implantation. Patients were able to discontinue all their dystonia-related medications in 61% of the cases, and 91% were able to discontinue at least one class of drugs for at least one year. The report represents one of the longest follow-up studies of patients with this most common form of hereditary dystonia, who were followed over a span of 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. (Science Codex)

Survey Assesses Screening of Parkinson's Disease Patients for Pre-Operative Impulsiveness
June 19, 2013 - A poster presentation at the international congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders showed that of 48 Parkinson's disease study group centers, 97% of which performed deep brain stimulation surgery and 67% of which serve more than 500 patients a year, only 23% of sites employed a formal battery of tests for impulsive and compulsive behavior and that 7% did not screen for impulse control disorders. The survey, prompted by a concern that patients who become more impulsive after surgery were more likely to be lost to follow up, found that 80% of responding centers used a neuropsychologist to screen for potential behavioral issues but only 32% used a psychiatrist, suggesting a focus on identifying the problem without necessarily having the facilities to manage and treat it.  (Clinical Psychiatry News)

Editorial Concerns Access to Non-Prescription External Brain Electrostimulation
June 19, 2013 - An editorial raises concerns regarding incipient interest in at-home transcranial magnetic stimulation systems. (Nature)

Television Station Features Research Into Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Obesity
June 14, 2013 - Research by International Medical Society member Michael Oh, MD, and colleagues in a FDA-approved clinical trial of three morbidly obese patients who safely received deep brain stimulation implants was featured in a local television news interview with one of his colleagues when Oh presented the work in Berlin at the INS 11th World Congress. (WTAE - Pittsburgh)

U.S. Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation System Starts
June 17, 2013 - Boston Scientific Corporation announced the first U.S. patient has been implanted with the Vercise deep brain stimulation system for the treatment of Parkinson's disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in a prospective, multi-center, double-blinded, randomized, controlled study, INTREPID, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of motor function and overall quality of life. (PR Newswire)

Interim Data Presented from Clinical Trial of Parkinson's Disease Patients Using New Deep Brain Stimulation System
June 18, 2013 - Six months of data from 40 Parkinson's disease patients were presented at the annual International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Sydney, Australia concerning the Boston Scientific Vercise deep brain stimulation system, with multiple independent current control for fine, selective control of stimulation. The system is approved for sale in Europe, Israel and Australia. The interim data showed the patients from six European centers experienced approximately 60 percent mean improvement in motor function compared to baseline after six months. (Stockhouse)

Heart Failure Neuromodulation Startup Receives Venture Capital Funding
June 13, 2013 - NeuroTronik of Chapel Hill, N.C. received $13.1 million from a venture capital syndicate led by Hatteras Venture Partners to develop its neuromodulation system to treat heart failure by improving pumping effectiveness. (News & Observer)

Study of Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease Expands
June 12, 2013 - Twenty patients with mild Alzheimer's disease have been implanted with deep brain stimulation systems in a clinical trial that was expanded from 20 to 30 patients in the U.S. along with 20 subjects approved in Canada. The trial by Functional Neuromodulation Ltd., the ADvance Study, is being supported by a $2 million grant from the U.S. National Institute on Aging. The investigation of stimulation to the fornix, a major hub in the brain's memory circuit, to slow the disease progress now includes six U.S. centers as well as the Toronto Wester Hospital. It is co-chaired by by Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto and scientific founder of the company; and Constantine Lyketsos, MD, who directs the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center. (Business Wire)

Clinical Trial Initiated of Auditory Brainstem Implant in Children in the U.S.
June 11, 2013 -  The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is enrolling deaf children and infants who are not candidates for a cochlear implant in a clinical trial of an auditory brainstem implant, the Nucleus 24 ABI. The ABI stimulates auditory neurons directly at the brainstem. The device is currently FDA-approved for adults and children 12 and older who are diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2. The FDA issued an investigational device exemption for the current trial, which is taking place in consultation with international experts on pediatric ABI surgery, (Newswise)

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Looks to the Future of Digital Drugs
June 13, 2013 - Emerging and potential future advances in neurostimulation for chronic pain are examined in recommendations of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee that are being submitted for peer review to the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The committee considered such new options as electrical stimulation to the dorsal root ganglion; new frequencies of neurostimulation; and new devices for peripheral nerve stimulation. (Newswise)

Metabolic Studies Aid Research Into Deep Brain Stimulation for Morbid Obesity
June 13, 2013 - A deep brain stimulation trial in treatment-resistant obesity linked a weight loss trend to a metabolism increase programmed in a metabolic chamber, according to a pilot study presented at the International Neuromodulation Society’s 11th World Congress by International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Oh, MD of the Department of Neurosurgery, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Newswise)

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Announces Guidance on Digital Drugs for Head and Body Pain
June 12, 2013 - Six authors of Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee guidelines are quoted today in a news release about implantable "digital drugs" for the treatment of head and body pain. The announcement was made in conjunction with the International Neuromodulation Society's 11th World Congress in Berlin. (Newswise)

Results Announced at 11th World Congress: Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Voiding Disorder Improved Some Aspects of Sexual Dysfunction
June 11, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD, professor of surgery (urology) at the University of Toronto, presented results of a prospective study in which 23 women treated with sacral nerve stimulation for bladder disorder showed an improvement in sexual dysfunction averaging 18 percent post-treatment. (Newswise)

Study: Neurostimulation Helped Children's Intractable Constipation
June 11, 2013 - At the 11th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society, Bridget Southwell, PhD., of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute of the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, Australia presented results of a novel use of transcutaneous electrical stimulation, in which home care by parents using transabdominal, noninvasive stimulation improved hardest-to-treat chronic constipation in children. (Newswise)

First Global Guidance Announced on Neurostimulation for Pain
June 10, 2013 - The Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, an international group of more than 60 leading pain specialists led by the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) President-Elect Tim Deer, MD, announced at the INS 11th World Congress it has created the first consensus guidelines for the use of neurostimulation for chronic pain, which can significantly reduce the need for opioids. The guidance will be submitted for peer review to the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (International Neuromodulation Society)

INS 11th World Congress and New Research Investments Featured in News Article About Expanded Inquiry into Neuromodulation Therapies
June 2013 - Mounting evidence for electrical stimulation therapy is fueling expanded investigation into new indications, according to a news feature in Nature Medicine that quotes International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Kristoffer Famm, head of bioelectronics research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, which recently announced an initiative to fund up to 20 external research projects in so-called electroceuticals. The article references research presentations at the INS 11th World Congress June 8 - 13 in Berlin on clinical trials of electrical stimulation therapy in fibromyalgia and refractory angina. (Nature Medicine)

Physicians Model Cost-Effectiveness of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Pain Management
May 24, 2013 - Costs and effects of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and conventional medical management alone were modeled over 20 years in a study published by International Neuromodulation Society members Krishna Kumar, MD, and Syed A. Rizvi, MD in Pain Medicine. They found the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for SCS in failed back surgery syndrome (in Canadian dollars) was $9,293; in complex regional pain syndrome was $11,216; in peripheral arterial disease was $9,319, and in refractory angina pectoris was $9,984. (Pain Medicine)

Brain-Computer Interface Demonstrated in Noninvasive System to Control Model Helicopter
June 5, 2013 - A team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis demonstrated control of a model helicopter in three dimensions by an operator using a noninvasive cap of electrodes to detect changes in the strength and frequency of nerve firing in the motor cortex. The operators imagined making a fist with either or both hands to signal moving left, right, or up. Several hours of training were required in modulating sensorimotor rhythms, first with a computer cursor, then while watching the robotic vessel's progress through a camera mounted on the hull. The demonstration was reported in the Journal of Neural Engineering as a proof-of-concept for brain-computer interfaces. (Nature)

11th World Congress Presentation on Therapy for Chronic Amputation Pain Planned
June 4, 2013 - Neuros Medical Inc. announced it will present details of its pilot study of its patented Electrical Nerve Block treatment at the upcoming International Neuromodulation Society’s 11th World Congress in Berlin, Germany, June 8-13. In the pilot study, seven out of nine patients with chronic amputation pain who received on-demand, high-frequency stimulation over the course of a year received significant pain relief, averaging 83% pain reduction. (BioPortfolio)

Brain Stimulation Shows Promising Results in Vision Therapy
June 4, 2013 - Berlin-based EBS Technologies GmbH plans to expand a clinical trial of patients with neurological vision deficits after announcing that its repetitive transorbital alternate current stimulation, coupled with EEG feedback, resulted in a mean 24% increase in stimulation of the visual field compared to controls in a clinical trial of 82 patients. The treatment, approved for sale in Europe, involves 40-minute treatments over 10 consecutive days, and is designed to revitalize optical neural pathways damaged by trauma, stroke, or tumor surgery. (Business Wire)

Israeli Nonprofit Announces 10 Finalists for $1 million R&D Prize
June 3, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD's BrainGate neural interface and nine other research competition finalists are being considered for the Israel Brain Technologies' (IBT) $1 million R&D award, B.R.A.I.N. (Breakthrough Research and Innovation in Neurotechnology). The finalists will be judged in October after presentations in Tel Aviv. IBT is a nonprofit organized to advance Israel's neurotechnology industry and increase collaboration with counterparts around the world. (PR Newswire)

Study Relates Cognitive Impact of Depression to Neuroplasticity
June 1, 2013 - Researchers comparing the neuroplastic effects of brain stimulation in healthy subjects and untreated depressed subjects found that the ability to form new neural connections was stunted in the brains of depressed people. That may contribute to the lack of ability to think clearly, impacting the ability to adapt and learn, and indicates the condition is more than just a chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression treatments do increase brain plasticity. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Neuromodulation Pioneer Wins $100,000 Research Prize for Contributions to Parkinson's Disease Surgical Interventions
May 31, 2013 - For his pioneering contributions to developing strategies such as deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's disease, Alim Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, has received the 2013 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The prize comes with a $100,000 research grant. (Business Wire)

Company Targeting Overactive Bladder Sees Increased Sales, Medicare Midwest Coverage
May 30, 2013 - Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Uroplasty, Inc. announced fourth-quarter and fiscal year performance for the period ended March 31, 2013.  For the full year, sales grew $1.9 million to $22.4 million, reflecting an 18% increase in U.S. sales and a 10% decrease in sales outside the U.S. Fiscal fourth quarter 2013 sales in the U.S. increased 2%, driven by an 11% increase in sales of the Urgent® PC Neuromodulation System, compared with fiscal fourth quarter a year ago. The company also announced that as of June 1, 2013, the Medicare administrative contractor Wisconsin Physicians Services (WPS) will begin coverage for posterior tibial nerve stimulation for treatment of overactive bladder and associated symptoms of urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urge incontinence. WPS provides medical and drug benefits to approximately 8.7 million Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. (PR Newswire)

Texas Man Finds Relief from 32-Contact Spinal Cord Stimulator
May 30, 2013 - A man who suffered from chronic pain despite repeat surgery and painkillers found relief through spinal cord stimulation, according to a newspaper account that profiles the patient, a U.S. Navy veteran. His procedure was one of the first in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area with Boston Scientific's 32-contact Precision Spectra™ system. (Star-Telegram)

Child is First to Receive Auditory Brainstem Implant in the U.S.
May 29, 2013 - In an operation at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a 3-year-old boy born without a cochlear nerve as a result of Charge syndrome became the first child to receive an auditory brainstem implant as part of a clinical trial. He will receive hearing and speech therapy to adjust to and work with his new perception of sound. (WRAL.com)

Next Challenge in Neural Interfaces May Be Developing Small, Precise Electroceuticals
May 28, 2013 - Getting neural interfaces to access information flowing through the nervous system and immune system is both a computing challenge and an even greater engineering challenge to see how neuroscience, disease biology and circuit design can come together, according to a news feature about GlaxoSmithKline's initiative to create small-scale, precise therapeutic interventions known as electroceuticals. The anatomical aspect of the mapping of neurons is relatively easy, but it's also important to map how electrical signals travel along them and what immune responses they provoke, the article says, referring to the immune system and the nervous system as "the two memory systems of the body". (Wired.co.uk)

Deep Brain Stimulation Visualization System Receives CE Mark Approval
May 27, 2013 - Boston Scientific Corporation has received CE Mark approval for use of its deep brain stimulation visualization system, Guide DBS, in Parkinson's disease. The tool allows physicians to visualize the relative position of the lead and model stimulation fields and output. Designed to help reduce programming time and tailor stimulation therapy, the system is the first commercial product resulting from the company's acquisition of Intelect Medical in 2011. (PR Newswire)

Deep Brain Stimulation Technology Platform is the Basis of a Newly Launched Company
May 23, 2013 - Venture and commercialization firm NDI Medical launched a new portfolio company, Deep Brain Innovations, LLC, to commercialize its Temporally Optimized Patterned Stimulation (TOPS™) technology that delivers novel, more efficient, patterns of stimulation, allowing smaller and longer-lasting devices. (Digital Journal)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Study Results Reported
May 20, 2013 - Twenty children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder saw mean improvements of more than 45 percent after eight weeks of external trigeminal nerve stimulation in a clinical trial that was reported Monday at the American Psychiatric Association Meeting in San Francisco. (PR Newswire)

University of Oxford Research Looks at Learning Effects of Transcranial Random-Noise Stimulation
May 16, 2013 -  Transcranial random-noise stimulation can induce long-term enhancement of cognitive and brain functions, according to research published in Current Biology that shows students who received the stimulation while practicing math problems remained quicker than a control group at similar problems six months later. (Nature)

Mood Effects of Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation Reported
May 16, 2013 - In a pilot study of volunteers with chronic pain, researchers found that transcranial ultrasound stimulation improved mood, possibly due to "tuning" microtubules that grow and extend neurons and form and regulate synapses. The researchers who published the results in Brain Stimulation plan to study the effect in traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. (Medical Xpress)

Patient Discovers Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Intractable Pain
May 14, 2013 - In an interview in the Daily Express about a patient's success using a rechargeable spinal cord stimulator (SCS), International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MD, points out that studies show SCS systems recoup their costs in 1 - 3 years due to due to a reduction in spending on drugs and repeat hospitalization. His patient found relief from SCS for her chronic back pain after relying on medications proved inadequate and risky over the long term. (Daily Express)

Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface Publishes Results of Pain Study Investigating Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation
May 14, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Liong Liem, MD, PhD,  was quoted along with co-author Frank Huygen, MD, PhD about their study published yesterday in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface regarding pain relief from neurostimulation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). The six-month study of 32 patients suffering from long-term nerve damage following surgery (chronic post surgical pain), complex regional pain syndrome, amputation pain, or failed back surgery syndrome showed that 70% of patients suffering from leg pain and 89% of patients suffering from foot pain reported clinically significant pain relief. The multi-center study examined the Axium spinal cord stimulation system by Spinal Modulation, which is available in Europe and Australia. (Wall Street Journal)

Report Presents Three Years of Clinical Results of Overactive Bladder Treatment
May 10, 2013 -- A study published in the Journal of Urology shows that most overactive bladder patients who responded to 12 weekly percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation treatments safely sustained symptom improvement over three years with an average of one treatment per month. After a 14-week treatment tapering protocol, 29 patients completed the 36-month continuing treatment. (Market Watch)

Mass-Market Publication Mentions Deep Brain Stimulation for Pain
May 10, 2013 - A health column about emerging uses of deep brain stimulation (DBS) mentions Prof. Tipu Aziz of the University of Oxford, who has been investigating DBS in chronic pain. (Daily Mirror)

Review: Neuromodulation Offers Potential to Manage Chronic Pelvic Pain in Men
May 10, 2013 - A review of neuromodulation (sacral nerve stimulation and percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation) in chronic pelvic pain in men (chronic prostatitis) concludes "at least a subset of patients in most of the published studies and case series derive some benefit in the short term and limited evidence suggests that long-term improvement of symptoms is possible." (Uro Today -- requires free registration)

Imaging Studies Show Brain Activity Changes Associated with Response to Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Depression
May 7, 2013 - PET scanning shows changes in glucose metabolism in areas involved in dopamine production in the brain several weeks or months before symptom improvement in patients with treatment-resistant depression who were treated with vagus nerve stimulation, according to an early online edition of a paper by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published by the journal Brain Stimulation. (Science Codex)

Pain Patient Who Benefited from Spinal Cord Stimulation is Featured in News Interview
May 2, 2013 - A television interview includes a physician and his patient who found relief from spinal cord stimulation after being concerned about addiction issues from the painkillers she used following a car accident injury. (WFAA.com)

News Report Describes Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinsonian Syndrome
May 6, 2013 - A woman who was living with stiffness and  tremors after an accident received deep bain stimulation (DBS) surgery to try to control her motor symptoms. Her neurologist plans to publish the case describing this use of DBS in Parkinsonism. (CINewsNow)

Varied Response to Motor Cortex Stimulation Examined in Brain Mapping
May 1, 2013 - In motor disorders such as Parkinson's disease, oscillatory activity at beta frequency is elevated, and is modulated during the generation of movements. Continuous theta burst stimulation using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can inhibit motor activity for up to an hour, but the neuroplastic effects are highly variable between individuals. Brain mapping of 16 healthy research subjects with magnetoencephalography suggests the observed variability may relate to GABAergic mechanisms that govern the presence of oscillatory beta activity in the motor system. (Journal of Neuroscience)

Study Shows Subthalamic Nuceus Stimulation Impacts Metabolic State
April 30, 2013 - A study of a nonmotor impact of deep brain stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson's disease showed on-stimulation decreases endogenous glucose production by 22% compared to off-stimulation or controls, without altering whole body glucose disposal, suggesting that cross-talk between the central nervous system and peripheral tissues may regulate glucose homeostasis. (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism)

First-Hand Account of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson's Disease
April 29, 2013 - A reporter chronicles his own experience with deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson's disease and its benefits to his work and life. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

East Anglia Patient Interviewed about Receiving New MRI-Compatible Spinal Cord Stimulation Implant
April 27, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society Member Mike Sidery, BSc, MB BChir, MA, PhD, called a spinal cord stimulation system that provides MRI compatibility reassuring for patients. His patient who received an implant to control her leg pain was interviewed about her new implant. A chronic pain patient since 2010, she said she previously had MRI scans to try to find the cause of her leg pain. She was said to be one of the first patients in Britain to receive this system. (Norfolk Eastern Daily Press)

NICE Issues Guidelines on Use of Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Intractable Chronic Migraine
April 24, 2013 - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for intractable chronic migraine. Selection of patients for treatment using ONS for intractable chronic migraine should be done by a multidisciplinary team, including specialists in headache, pain management and neurosurgery. Clinicians should enter details about all patients undergoing ONS for intractable chronic migraine onto the UK Neuromodulation Register when access to that database is available. NICE encourages publication of further information from comparative studies and from collaborative data collection to guide future use of this procedure and to provide patients with the best possible advice. Publications should include full details of any complications, and of adjunctive or subsequent treatments. Outcomes should include measures of pain, function and quality of life, particularly in the long term. (NICE)

Preclinical Results Suggest Deep Brain Stimulation May Help to Control Bingeing and Blood Glucose Sensitivity
April 23, 2013 - Mice receiving deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens consumed less high-fat food compared to controls according to a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience. At the same time, similar stimulation to obese mice resulted in less calorie consumption, a loss of body weight, and improved glucose sensitivity -- suggestive of a reversal of type 2 diabetes. (University of Pennsylvania)

Deep Brain Stimulation Investigator Describes Therapeutic Opportunity to Tune Brain Circuits
April 23, 2013 - During a visit to Houston, pioneering neurologist Dr. Helen Mayberg discussed deep brain stimulation, saying the brain "works as ensembles, like an orchestra, with coordinated interactions among different areas for different functions. Identifying circuits and using electricity to tune them - the brain uses electricity to communicate - is attractive because while it's brain surgery, tuning the brain is not permanent; it's reversible. You can try a setting, and if it doesn't work, you can turn it off. You can remove the electrodes and it doesn't generally damage the brain." (Houston Chronicle)

Study of Spine Surgery Records Finds Low Utilization of Spinal Cord Stimulation
April 2013 - Researchers specializing in spinal cord stimulation (SCS) reviewed records of 16,455 spine surgery patients who had continued chronic pain -- so-called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome -- and found only 2.4% of those underwent SCS implantation from 2000 - 2099, according to a study presented  at the 2012 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. Surgeons should be more aware that SCS may be superior to repeat surgery in select patients, said study co-author Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society and assistant professor of neurosurgery, Duke University School of Medicine. (Anesthesiology News)

Small U.S. Study of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Finds Little Benefit in Tinnitus
April 22 -  A U.S. study published in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery of 14 patients with tinnitus showed that four weeks of sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improved their chronic ringing in the ears by 10 points, while crossover sham treatment yielded a six-point improvement. (Reuters)

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation to the Cervical Spine Relieved Pain for Majority of Patients
April 2013 - An observational study, presented by International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Dr. Tim Deer at the 2012 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society,  supports the use of spinal cord stimulation in the cervical spine for chronic pain. The study, part of an ongoing 40-center registry study supported by a research grant from St. Jude Medical, tracked 38 patients for at least three months and found that most reported their pain relief as being excellent or good. (Pain Medicine)

INS Accepts Record Number of Abstracts for Biennial Congress
April 19, 2013 - The International Neuromodulation has accepted a record number of abstracts for its 11th World Congress June 8 - 13 in Berlin. Diverse highlights are previewed in a news announcement issued today. INS also announced a pre-conference innovation-and-investment summit. (Newswise)

Company Plans Presentation on External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation in Children with ADHD
April 18, 2013 - Results of external trigeminal nerve stimulation in children aged 7 - 14 who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will be presented on May 20 in San Francisco by Los Angeles-based NeuroSigma, Inc. The open-label Phase I study was prompted by observations in PET scans of the stimulation's effect on attention centers. (San Francisco Business Times)

Deep Brain Stimulation Service Comes to Bangalore
April 17, 2013 - Commenting on a new deep brain stimulation service for Parkinson's disease patients in Bangalore, a neurologist calls the procedure a good option in carefully selected patients. The Columbia Asia Referral Hospital in Yeshwanthpur is one of more than 20 medical facilities in India and Southeast Asia operated by Columbia Asia Group, which entered the country with 100 percent foreign investment. (Moneylife)

Cigarette Craving Temporarily Reduced in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study
April 16, 2013 - A dose of transcranial magnetic stimulation was shown to temporarily reduce nicotine craving in in smokers in a sham-controlled trial by a team at the Medical University of South Carolina, published in Biological Psychiatry. The stimulation focused on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region linked with cue-related behavior, such as the sight of a cigarette triggering a craving. (Wired.co.uk)

Two-Year Follow-up Shows Patients With Neurogenic Diagnoses Still Benefited from Sacral Neuromodulation
April 15, 2013 - Looking at outcomes of sacral neuromodulation in 332 patients, 71 of whom had a co-morbid neurologic disorder, follow-up over two years showed that patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction experienced benefits after neuromodulation similar to the benefits experienced by those without coexisting neurologic conditions, according to a study in Urology. (Urology)

Company to Launch Anchoring Technology for Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads and Pain Pump Catheters
April 15, 2013 - Boston Scientific Corporation announced it has acquired and is launching the Fixate Tissue Band for spinal cord stimulator leads and pain pump catheters. Anulex Technologies of Minnetonka, MN developed the device to secure leads to the fascia or inter-spinous/supra-spinous ligament, and received expanded FDA approval last year for the catheter application. International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Bowman, MD, commented that the device permits quick and efficient lead anchoring. (Implantable Medical Devices) 

Physicians in Colombia Receive Spinal Cord Stimulation Training
April 15, 2013 - An interview with a chronic pain patient mentions that International Neuromodulation Society member Carlos Viesca, M.D. recently returned from providing spinal cord stimulation training to 200 anesthesiologists and neurosurgeons in three cities in Colombia. (El Paso Times)

Study Examines Role of Deep Brain Stimulation in Gait and Multi-Tasking
April 15, 2013 - Since the ability to walk while dual-tasking has been related to fall risk, researchers examined attention, executive function, and gait in 28 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease with bilateral sub-thalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on and off, both with and without medication. The stimulation improved motor symptoms, certain features of gait and attention, but not executive function. However, stimulation apparently failed to reduce the negative impact of a dual task on walking abilities. (Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation)

Research Team Unveils Wireless Optogenetics Advance
April 11, 2013 - An international team of researchers report on development of injectable, cellular-scale optoelectronics with applications for wireless optogenetics .. in Science. (Wired)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Trial for Back Pain Begins Enrolling Patients
April 11, 2013 - Patient enrollment has begun in the SubQStim II pivotal clinical trial of peripheral nerve stimulation for chronic back pain. Medtronic, Inc. plans for up to 323 patients at up to 30 U.S. centers in the trial, in which patients will be randomized into control or treatment groups for the first three months, then participate in open-label follow-up for up to five years. (Mass Device)

Case Series Presents Anchoring Option for Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads or Paddles
April 11, 2013 - At the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, a case series of three patients was presented in which multiple lead arrays and paddle leads were placed through a percutaneous port and anchored using dissection along the spinous process and placement of a perforating towel clamp, deep in the paraspinal musculature. The clamps created an anchoring point for the leads. Each patient was followed for at least one year. (Medical Xpress)

PET Scanning and Optogenetics Highlight Role of Neural Networks in Response to Targeted Stimulation
April 11, 2013 - Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory published an online paper in the Journal of Neuroscience that describes combining optogenetic stimulation and PET scans to trace effects of localized stimulation throughout the brain of laboratory rats. The method helps show which downstream neurological pathways are activated or inhibited by stimulation, and how that correlates with behaviors and/or disease conditions. The work could provide fine-scale control such as comparing the role of dopamine D1 or D2 receptors involved in processing reward, and might help refine treating conditions ranging from depression to Parkinson's disease, neurodegenerative disorders and drug addiction, as well as provide treatment monitoring. (Medical Xpress)

Healthcare Industry Observer Sees Potential Promise in Investigative Treatment for Depression
April 11, 2013 -  The director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council on Science and Health, Josh Bloom, Ph.D., calls promising early reports about investigations of deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression "potentially huge" and able to "help reinforce the idea that depression is a physical disease of the brain." (American Council on Science and Health)

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease is Called Cost-Effective for the German Healthcare System
April 10, 2013 - In a study supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research, a team of journal co-authors from institutions in Austria and Germany, as well as Harvard Medical School, provide a lifetime statistical analysis of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease that supports adopting and reimbursing DBS within the German health care system. They conclude DBS can be considered cost-effective, offering a value-for-money profile comparable to other well-accepted health care technologies. The lifetime incremental cost-utility ratio for deep brain stimulation was €6700 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) and €9800 and €2500 per United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part II (motor experiences of daily living) and part III (motor examination) score point gained, respectively. Deep brain stimulation costs were mainly driven by the cost of surgery and of battery exchange. (Movement Disorders)

Bonn Researchers Report a Positive Pilot Study with New Stimulation Target for Major Depressive Disorder
April 10, 2013 - Professors at Bonn University Hospital report on seeing improvements within days in major depression symptoms in six of seven patients treated with bilateral deep brain stimulation to a relatively novel target, the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle, a structure that runs from the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex. They report that a high proportion of responders needed lower stimulation intensities than seen in previous studies. Their pilot study appeared in Biological Psychiatry online April 5. (Gizmag)

Regulatory Agency Issues First Approval for Deep Brain Stimulation for Both Primary and Secondary Dystonia
April 10, 2013 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced it is the first to receive CE Mark approval for use of deep brain stimulation to manage both primary and secondary dystonia. Dystonia is considered secondary when its cause can be attributed to a toxin, injury, or another disease or condition. In the announcement, International Neuromodulation Society Member Elena Moro, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the University Hospital Center of Grenoble, France noted that the involuntary muscle contraction and spasms of dystonia strike people of all ages. (St. Jude Medical)

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Shows Effect in Focal Dystronia
April 9, 2013 - In a study in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience of 17 people with focal hand dystonia, 68% reported that their symptoms improved after 5 daily sessions of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and 58% said their symptoms were better 10 days post-treatment. The stimulation was given while patients performed writing movements that did not trigger their dystonic symptoms. Although handwriting was not improved at a 10-day follow up, three patients contacted the investigators for additional treatment, indicating that they felt their symptoms had improved for several months. (Medical Xpress)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Research into Appetite Control Receives Support
April 9, 2013 - Researchers at Imperial College London have received $9 million from the European Research Council to support development of a potential treatment option for obesity. The researchers' investigative device uses a nerve cuff electrode to target the branch of the vagus that ennervates the gut. The controller is intended to read conditions in the stomach and provide signals of satiety to the brain with proper stimulation. (Medical Xpress)

Modeling Shows Major Effect of Slight Changes in Location of Deep Brain Stimulation
April 6, 2013 - In a patient receiving deep brain stimulation of the subcallosal cingulate white matter -- as an investigative treatment for major depressive disorder -- a model of pathways that may mediate the effect predicts stimulation effects, and suggests, based on different simulated activation patterns from four different electoral contacts, that small differences in location can generate substantial differences in the directly activated pathways. The new tool, a tractography-activation model (TAM), combines imaging data, electric field modeling of stimulation parameters, and activation pathway prediction. In part, the TAM predictions are suggested by cable models of different axon states. (Brain Stimulation)

Researchers Raise Considerations Regarding Motor Cortex Stimulation for Stroke Rehabilitation
April 4, 2013 - Researchers in New Zealand and Australia report on a model of stroke rehabilitation in which the importance of control exerted by the motor cortex on the opposite side of the body suggests that careful consideration be given to using noninvasive brain stimulation to suppress the motor cortex there. They conclude that neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and clinical assessments can facilitate the best use of noninvasive brain stimulation in a stroke rehabilitation setting. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Should Be Offered to Early Stage Parkinson's Disease Patients -- with Some Caveats
April 4, 2013 - A brief article about the EARLYSTIM trial, reported in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that the randomized trial of 251 patients who were followed over two years in European centers shows an overall benefit in the group that received neurostimulation rather than medical treatment alone, although there were more frequent adverse events in the group that received deep brain stimulation. For instance, major depression occurred more often, although there was an overall improvement in mood by the end of the trial. (Neurology Today)

Louisiana Television Station Features Interview of Parkinson's Disease Patient Who Benefitted from Deep Brain Stimulation
April 5, 2013 - A local television station reports about a man whose Parkinson's disease improved after he received a deep brain stimulation system. Three years after the implant, he is helping to raise awareness in support of fundraising events of the Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation. (KPLC)

Mississippi Site Starts Enrolling Back Pain Patients in Clinical Trial
April 5, 2013 - PROMISE is a prospective randomized clinical trial to compare the outcomes of using optimal medical management for predominant low back pain alone, or with multicolumn implantable lead stimulation. The multi center trial is now enrolling patients at the Singing River Health System Neuroscience Center, one of up to 30 centers in the U.S., Canada and Europe participating in the Medtronic, Inc.-sponsored study. The study seeks participants who have persistent or recurring pain in the back and/or legs following one or more spine surgeries. (Mississippi Press)

Optogenetic Study in Animal Model of Cocaine Addiction Highlights Importance of Activity Level in Prefrontal Cortex
April 4, 2013 - The prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex plays a central role in compulsive cocaine addiction, according to preclinical optogenetics research in the journal Nature. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine introduced light-sensitive proteins in rat neural cells in that brain region, and introduced light there through fiber optics to increase or inhibit neural activity. Activating the neurons eliminated the compulsive behavior displayed by some of the rats in the study, and inhibiting neural activity in that region triggered compulsive cocaine-seeking behavior in the non-addicted rats. (UCSF)

U.S. BRAIN Initiative Would Create a Dynamic Map of Brain Activity
April 2, 2013 - U.S. President Barrack Obama unveiled a proposed $100 million initiative, Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), that is intended to show how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is establishing a high-level working group to help articulate scientific goals and develop a multi-year plan with timetables, milestones, and cost estimates. Input will be sought from the scientific community, patient advocates, and general public. By fall 2013 the working group should have specific recommendations on investments for fiscal year 2014, with a final report due to the NIH director in June 2014. NIH is working closely with other government agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation. Private foundations have expressed interest and support, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, The Kavli Foundation, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Private industries are also interested in becoming involved. The NIH enterprise-wide Blueprint for Neuroscience Research will lead planning contributions, and published an NIH toolbox for such assessments as pain, cognition, and movement disorder in the March 12, 2013 issue of Neurology. (NIH)

Grant Supports Early Stage Research in Deeply Targeting Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
April 1, 2013 - The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is giving $395,280 to Iowa State University to support research into directing transcranial magnetic stimulation into deep brain areas as a potential non-invasive treatment of such disorders as Parkinson's disease. Engineering and veterinary faculty are teaming to carry out the research in mice. (Iowa State University)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Bears Careful Consideration, Magazine Writer Concludes
April 1, 2013 - A balanced approach seems best in researching the pros and cons of potentially using technology -- such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) -- to enhance human performance, a writer concludes after conducting a number of interviews over the course of a two-month series about various potential types of human enhancement. Besides its being explored to treat severe depression or aid rehabilitation from stroke, the article notes, there has been research interest in the potential of tDCS to enhance learning of cognitive tasks or performance in training exercises. (Slate)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation System for Weight Control Would Include a Smart Sensor
April 1, 2013 - Researchers at Imperial College London are developing a "smart" microchip to modulate sensations of appetite through sensing and stimulation at the vagus nerve. Earlier, the team developed a similar device that targets the vagus nerve to reduce epileptic seizures. Existing devices that target the vagus nerve to reduce food consumption are EnteroMedics' VBloc device and the Abiliti device by IntraPace. The latest device may be ready for human trials within three years. (Inland News Today)

Deep Brain Stimulation Capability Comes to Abu Dhabi
March 31, 2013 - Abu Dhabi now has a deep brain stimulation (DBS) service at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. The new service is unfamiliar to insurance companies, says Maher Mansour, MD, a consultant neurosurgeon at the facility. However, nationals of Abu Dhabi do receive partial coverage from the national medical coverage program.  In a related article, the mother of a patient who acquired dystonia following a brain injury expressed gratitude for access to DBS surgery there. (The National)

News Site Features MRI-Guided Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
March 28, 2013 - A neurosurgical navigation platform that permits deep brain stimulation surgery under general anesthesia, the ClearPoint® Neuro Intervention System by MRI Interventions, Inc. was featured on the Fox News Health website about MRI-guided brain surgery being easier on Parkinson's patients. (PR Newswire)

Two Alzheimer's Patients Have Received Deep Brain Stimulation Systems as Part of Study
March 28, 2013 - Two women have been implanted with deep brain stimulation systems as part of a 10-person study at The Ohio State University to explore whether the stimulation has protective effects in the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The first patient has completed 12 weeks of stimulation. The study will examine the impact of stimulation over time on thinking, focus and alertness. (HealthDay)

Neural Network Model Reflects Frequency-Dependent Response to Deep Brain Stimulation
March 23, 2013 - A team of researchers at INSERM and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Rennes, France report on their model of a brain network that includes the biophysical effects of direct stimulation, based on EEG data from a patient with drug-resistant epilepsy and a focal cortical dysplasia. The dysplasia responds to either high- or low-frequency deep brain stimulation, but not intermediate-frequency. In the model, it appeared the frequency-dependent response could be explained by: a) feed-forward inhibition and synaptic short-term depression of thalamocortical connections at low-frequency stimulation, and b) inhibition of the thalamic output at high-frequency stimulation. (Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience)

Case Series Indicates Relative Effectiveness of Retrograde Spinal Cord Stimulation in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and Perineal Pain
March 2013 - Retrograde neuromodulation -- spinal cord stimulation directed toward the sacrum -- appeared effective in patients who had a well-localized pain and clear dermatome distribution, according to a series of 10 patients at the University General Hospital of Valencia in Spain, in which seven of 10 patients had effective stimulation. Retrograde neuromodulation appeared most effective in radiculopathy related to failed back surgery syndrome, and of limited effectiveness in treating perineal pain. (Pain Physician)

Start-up to Present Results of External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation in Refractory Epilepsy
March 25, 2013 - Los Angeles-based NeuroSigma, Inc. will report on the first example of potential clinical utility of its external trigeminal nerve stimulation device, the Monarch™ eTNS™ System, as an adjunctive treatment in refractory status epilepticus at the 4th London-Innsbruck Colloquium on Status Epilepticus and Acute Seizures to be held in Salzburg, Austria from April 4-6, 2013. (PR Newswire)

Lecture to Examine Past, Present and Future of Deep Brain Stimulation
March 18, 2013 - Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface editorial board member Kim Burchiel, MD, planned to present the past, present and future of deep brain stimulation during a lecture series at the Oregon Health & Science University. In an introductory blog post, he concluded, "the technology poses the bioethical question of whether our ability to modify brain function should be uncritically applied." (Oregon Health & Science University - On the Brain)

Device Company Supplier Works on Spinal Cord Stimulation Prototype
March 23, 2013 - Greatbatch Inc.'s ambitious, five-year, $50-million initiative to develop medical devices -- starting with a spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system, Algostim -- may capture a significant share of the $1.4 billion SCS market, according to a news feature in the Buffalo News. The company is growing its intellectual property portfolio, and will retain is business supplying components to makers of neurostimulation and cardiac rhythm management devices. For Algostim, it would design and manufacture the devices but use a marketing partner for commercialization. (Buffalo News)

Optogenetics' Therapeutic Promise Discussed
March 20, 2013 - Perspectives articles in Science Translational Medicine address requirements for turning the technology of optogenetics into a therapy, and describe potential new circuit-level targets or biochemical, cellular events for intervention. (Science Translational Medicine)

Show Highlights Use of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
March 15, 2013 - In a television segment, deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease is called a little-known procedure that hasn't been reaching all the patients and physicians who could benefit. The segment includes an example of a patient whose tremor and medication dosages were reduced after she received DBS. (Windycitylive.com)

Australian Radio Show Reports on a Deep Brain Stimulation Operation
March 14, 2013 - In a radio interview with two neurosurgeons, a radio segment describes being in the operating theater during a deep brain stimulation surgery and inquires about the future for better understanding and treating disorders of neural circuits. (612 ABC Brisbane)

Acute Migraine Treatment Study Using External Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Be Presented at Meeting

March 13, 2013 - ElectroCore®, announced that its study of patients with acute migraine headache treated with its non-invasive, portable vagal nerve stimulation treatment, GammaCore®, will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting March 16-23 in San Diego. In the study, 27 participants treated an acute migraine with two, 90-second stimulation doses, applied externally at 15-minute intervals and delivered to the right cervical branch of the vagus nerve. Two-thirds of patients treated at mild pain were pain-free at two hours. Treatment-related adverse effects were limited. The company is now enrolling patients in a chronic migraine prevention study at several U.S. centers.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Aided Working Memory Issues for Schizophrenia Patients in Pilot Study
March 12, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Toronto have used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to improve working memory in 27 medicated schizophrenia patients in a double-blind pilot study. After 20 rTMS sessions over four weeks, the improvement was comparable to healthy subjects. Working memory problems can be a functionally disabling component of schizophrenia. (Science Daily)

New Content Posted to INS Website on Spasticity and Rehabilitation Approaches
March 10, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantina Petropoulou MD, PhD, of the National Rehabilitation Center in Athens, Greece, has written an overview for healthcare professionals regarding management of spasticity with a focus on rehabilitation, including the use of intrathecal drug delivery systems. She has also contributed review of a brief description of the condition for non-specialists, posted to the INS website, at http://www.neuromodulation.com/spasticity. 

Laboratory Research: Stimulation of Brainstem May Speed CNS Injury Recovery
March 10, 2013 - Preclinical research indicates that applying electrical stimulation to the rap he nuclei of the brainstem may induce biological control mechanisms that could enhance recovery from traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. (Neurotech Zone)

U.S. Army is Collaborating on Neurostimulation Device Worn on the Tongue During Rehabilitation Activities
March 7, 2013 - Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NeuroHabilitation Corporation, are working on a battery-operated neurostimulator that is inserted on the tongue for periods of 20 minutes or so during rehabilitation activities. Called the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator (PoNs), it is designed to provide so-called "cranial nerve non-invasive neuromodulation" to the brainstem. PoNs has been considered for helping improve balance in patients who have multiple sclerosis, or assisting treatment of people suffering from concussion or brain injury. Testing will include a collaborative study with researchers and clinicians at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Brain Stimulation in Anorexia Trial Shows Effects Beyond Stimulation Target

March 7, 2013 - A news feature describes a woman who had anorexia nervosa for two decades and has achieved a healthy weight as part of a clinical trial led by Dr. Andres Lozano of Toronto Western Hospital. He said the targeted area of the brain, the subcallosal cingulate, is turned down by the stimulation, likely toning down the anxiety, depression and other moods disorders that are hallmarks of the eating disorder. A surprise was an area of the brain involved with self-perception, or body image, was turned up. He compared the stimulation to a butterfly flapping its wings, since changing the activity of one area of the brain has consequences at other areas that are remote but are connected. (The Canadian Press)

Researchers Report Results From Early Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Anorexia Nervosa
March 6, 2013 - In a Phase I safety trial of six patients with treatment-resistant anorexia nervosa, by nine months after the start of deep brain stimulation to the subcallosal cingulate, half the patients had gained weight, four had improved mood, and two of those completed an inpatient eating disorders program, according to a research report in The Lancet. (Medical Xpress)

Television Segment Features Young Parkinson's Disease Patient's Neurosurgery
March 6, 2013 - Nine years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 29, an Arizona man became one of about 1,000 patients so far to undergo a new deep brain stimulation surgery that takes place while the patient is under anesthesia. (ABC News)

Brain Stimulation for Learning Study Shows Tradeoffs in Speed and Concentration
March 5, 2013 - A controlled research study on 19 healthy volunteers at the University of Oxford found that transcranial electrical stimulation during a mathematical training exercise had mixed effects. Subjects whose parietal area was stimulated performed more quickly during the weeklong study, but they were slower to put their new learning to use on a novel task. Meanwhile, volunteers who had the prefrontal area stimulated were slower than controls in learning the new numerical system but quicker to apply it to a new test at the end of the experiment. (Wired)

Deep Brain Stimulation Service in Vancouver Experiences Growing Demand
March 6, 2013 - The province of British Columbia has only one neurosurgeon performing deep brain stimulation surgery at up to about 40 cases annually -- resulting in a waiting list of almost three years. The service is budgeted as a local program of the Vancouver Coastal Authority although most patients live outside that region. So far efforts to find research funding from a charitable group focused on Parkinson's disease have been unsuccessful. (Vancouver Sun)

Temporary Electrodes Track Excessive Brain Synchronization in Motor Disorder and Therapeutic Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation
March 4, 2013 - A method to detect excessive brain synchronization at the surface of the brain in people with Parkinson’s disease is being reported online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based on three years of study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco; University of Cincinnati; Stanford University; and the University of Washington Medical Center. The researchers used flexible electrodes at the surface of the brain to detect activity there during neurosurgery. The study was conducted in 25 patients -- 16 with Parkinson’s disease and nine with cervical dystonia. The researchers compared the brain activity of these patients who had motor disorder to that recorded in patients who were being operated on for epilepsy. The research showed the effect of deep brain stimulation in halting excessive synchronization. Such findings could contribute to future neurostimulation approaches that respond automatically and flexibly to a patient’s needs. (University of California, San Francisco)

Access to Epilepsy Treatment Affected by Limited Information
March 4, 2013 - Despite the existence of interventions for epilepsy that include 26 approved medications in the U.S. and FDA-approved vagus nerve stimulation, access to care and referrals to treatment still fall short, according to a neurologist who contributed to a 2012 Institute of Medicine panel on the issue. Dr. Joseph Sirven, professor of neurology and department chair at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, writes that misinformation and lack of information are one limiting factor. (NBC Latino)

Small Study of Focused Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Lowered Pain Perception in Fibromyalgia
Feb. 28, 2013 - A novel noninvasive brain stimulation technique, high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS), which uses algorithms to focus and target stimulation, was tested in single, 20-minute sessions on 18 patients who have fibromyalgia in a sham-controlled crossover trial. The stimulation was reported in the Journal of Pain to provide significant reduction in overall perceived pain as compared to sham stimulation, regardless of polarity. (ProHealth.com)

Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Implanted
Feb. 26, 2013 - An amputee in Sweden has received the first permanent implantation of a prosthetic arm that is attached to the bone via a titanium socket, and controlled by electrodes implanted in his nerves and muscles. Designed at Chalmers University with contributions from Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the limb is designed to permit more movements than a simple, externally attached, robotic hand. (Gizmag.com)

Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Youths With Dystonia Showed Lingering Benefit
Feb. 22, 2013 - Two patients whose primary generalized dystonia was successfully treated in their teens with bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation (DBS) were reported to retain clinical benefit for at least two months after their devices had inadvertently been switched off. Unusually, the reappearing symptoms were milder than before. It is hypothesized the stimulation induced changes in the abnormal neural connectivity underlying the disease -- possibly due to their young age, short duration of disease and length of time on DBS, as well as their relatively low level of stimulation. Details and commentary were published in Movement Disorders (Medscape Medical News)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Study Author Notes Effects on Seizures, Mood
Feb. 21, 2013 - Both anti-epileptic effect and mood effects appeared in a double-blind, randomized, active-control trial of external trigeminal nerve stimulation that was completed by 42 patients who have medically resistant epilepsy. An interview with  lead study author Christopher M. DeGiorgio, MD, professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and vice president of NeuroSigma, appeared in Neurology Today, along with a podcast interview. He said response climbed to 40.5 percent of the treatment group by 18 weeks. (Neurology Today)

High-Frequency Stimulation Shown to Yield Chronic Back Pain and Leg Pain Relief
Feb. 26, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jean-Pierre Van Buyten, MD, Adnan Al-Kaisy, MD and colleagues report in Neuromodulation results of a trial of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation without parathesia using the Nevro Corp. Senza system. The trial enrolled 83 patients with chronic back pain. Of 72 patients who went on to permanent implant, more than 70% had significant and sustained low back pain and leg pain relief. (NeuroNews)

Using 32 Contacts Allows Neurostimulation to Circle Skull for Chronic Headache "Halo" Treatment
Feb. 25, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nameer Haider, MD, announced a neurostimulation treatment for chronic headache that circles the skull. The 360-degree Halo procedure uses 32 electrical contacts to stimulate 12 nerves; supraorbital/supratrochlear, auriculotemporal, and greater/lesser occipital. (PR Web)

Therapeutic Effect of Stimulation on Neural Circuit Revealed in Brain-Imaging Study
Feb. 25, 2013 - An fMRI study in patients who received deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder showed the communication between the nucleus accumbens, which influences motivation, and the frontal cortex, which aids decision-making, was increased when stimulation was off, and was higher than in healthy participants. That excessive connectivity is what deep-brain stimulation seems to break, said investigator Martijn Figee, MD, of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. Stimulation appears to override disease-linked oscillations between the two regions. (Technology Review)

Study: Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation on Obsessive Complusive Disorder
Feb. 24, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Snyder, MD, described obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as a "disorder of neurocircuitry" in an article describing a Dutch study of deep brain stimulation to a part of the brain that is involved in motivation and reward processing, the nucleus accumbens. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study showed that stimulation essentially restored normal functioning to that part of the brain in 16 patients with OCD. (Medical Xpress)

Patients Sought for Ongoing Trial of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina
Feb. 22, 2013 - Additional patients are being recruited for a feasibility trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in patients with refractory angina. The RASCAL (Refractory Angina Spinal Cord stimulation and usuAL care) pilot study compares SCS to usual care alone. The U.K.-based investigators include International Neuromodulation Society members Sam Eldabe, MB ChB, FFPMRCA; Jon Raphael, MB ChB MSc MD FRCA; Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP; Brookes Morag, RGN, BSc; and Rod S. Taylor, PhD. (7th Space)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Trial in Heart Failure Comes to Mississippi
Feb. 21, 2013 - North Mississippi Medical Center implanted the first vagus nerve stimulation system in the state as part of a clinical trial to treat heart failure. The CardioFit device by BioControl Medical is undergoing a worldwide investigation through the Innovate-HF trial. Two patients were implanted in the fall at the Tupelo, Miss.-based medical center, and commented in an article by the center that they have noticed a difference since then in their quality of life or activity levels. (Marketwire)

International Neuromodulation Society Member is a Key Figure in Proposed U.S. Brain Activity Map (BAM) Project
Feb. 19, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, professor of neuroscience at Brown University, is described as "one of the core scientists" involved in the proposal for U.S. agencies to create brain-activity-mapping scientific observatories to produce open-source data, similar to the Human Genome Project, over the next decade. He was quoted as saying the effort should unite neuroscientists working in the field and attract engineers and computational scientists to find ways to better understand the function of neural networks and their role in brain disorders and treatment. (Time)

Researcher Describes Plans to Implant Prosthetic Hand Controlled by Thought
Feb. 17, 2013 - Later this year, a man in his 20s in Rome will be fitted with a neuroprosthetic hand integrated with sensors linked to his nerves. He lost the lower part of his arm after an accident. The prosthetic is designed to provide sensory information from the fingertips, palm and wrists. It is intended to be attached to his arm's ulnar and median nerve branches to permit control of the hand's movement and provide sensory input, according to a talk by Silvestro Micera of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston. (Independent)

Patient Describes His Experience with Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy for Essential Tremor
Feb. 15, 2013 - In an account that mentions International Neuromodulation Society member  Ashwini Sharan, MD, a patient with essential tremor describes his decision to receive deep brain stimulation therapy after learning about it on television. (Jefferson University Hospitals)

Artificial Retina Implant Receives First U.S. Humanitarian Device Approval
Feb. 14, 2013 - The U.S. FDA announced it has approved the first implantable device to treat advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in adult patients, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System by Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. is based in Sylmar, Calif. The device uses a small video camera and transmitter mounted on eyeglasses and an artificial retina to improve the ability to detect light and dark. RP is a rare genetic disorder affecting about 100,000 patients in the U.S. Multimedia coverage of the Humanitarian Device approval appeared in the Wall Street Journal  (FDA)

Steering Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Deep Brain May Relieve Pain
Feb. 15, 2013 - In work presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Stanford University researchers demonstrated in healthy subjects and fibromyalgia patients that transcranial magnetic field pulses directed to the anterior cingulate cortex may be effective in reducing acute or chronic pain. The researchers used four magnets and mathematically directed steering. (Scientific American Mind)

Neurologist Recounts Path of Development of Potential Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Feb. 15, 2013 - Neurologist and author Richard C. Senelick, MD, writes in a column about the slow but potentially promising application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to delay the effects of Alzheimer's disease. He notes the use of DBS for essential tremor and Parkinson's disease has become routine in the United States and Europe, improving the lives of over 100,000 people. In addition, new studies explore the use of DBS for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, obesity, and chronic pain. While studying the use of DBS in obesity, researchers observed that it produced increased memory. This led to safety trials and then clinical trials as a potential Alzheimer's disease therapy. (The Atlantic)

Study: Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Shows Benefits
Feb. 14, 2013 - In a two-year study, researchers from Germany and France conclude that subthalmic stimulation was superior to medical therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease and early motor complications. In the study, 251 patients were randomly assigned to either deep brain stimulation plus medical therapy, or medical therapy alone. (New England Journal of Medicine)

Report: 12 Years of Experience With Deep Brain Stimulation for Neuropathic Pain
Feb. 13, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alex Green, MD, and Tipu Aziz, FMedSci, of the University of Oxford report in Neurosurgery that deep brain stimulation (DBS) can lead to long-term improvement in pain scores and other outcomes. The researchers present information about 59 patients teated between 1999 and 2011. The authors conclude that up to four years later, 66% of patients significantly improved their health status. Treatment was beneficial for 89% for patients with amputation and 70% of those with stroke, compared to 50% of those with brachial plexus injury. The study accounts for about 5% of all reported patients treated worldwide with DBS for neuropathic pain. (Newswise)

INS Member Describes Deep Brain Stimulation Research in Alzheimer's Disease
Feb. 11, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society North American chapter president Ali Rezai, MD, described deep brain stimulation research at Ohio State University that aims to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease. In the research, an area of the frontal lobe is targeted. In different research, a team at Johns Hopkins University is looking at the fornix, which is involved in memory formation. The recently initiated study in Ohio will run two years. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Depression Scores Dropped in Most Study Subjects Who Received Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Antidepressant Therapy
Feb. 7, 2013 - In a study published Feb. 6 in JAMA Psychiatry, Dr. Felipe Fregni from the Harvard Medical School in Boston and Brazilian colleagues report that a combined treatment with antidepressant medication and transcranial direct current stimulation helped relieve symptoms in nearly two-thirds of patients after six weeks of treatment. Of 120 people in Brazil with moderate or severe depression, depression scores in the one-fourth of patients who received active combined stimulation and medication dropped to an average of 13  on a 0-to-60 scale. Before treatment study subjects' depression scores averaged 30 to 31. The untreated "sham" group's score dropped to 25 during the study. (Reuters)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Awards Phase I Grant to Company Developing Neurostimulation for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
Feb. 5, 2013 - NeuroSigma, Inc. of California has received a Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health to develop its implantable subcutaneous trigeminal nerve stimulation (sTNSTM) System. The company will receive $600,000 in Phase I, with $3 million in Phase II, dependent on the availability of funds and satisfactory progress. It is envisioned that patients who have drug-resistant epilepsy may chose to use an sTNSTM implant if their condition responds to external stimulation. The sTNSTM includes leads placed under the skin, but above the skull of the forehead and a pulse generator to be placed at the chest wall. (News-Medical.net)

Chronic Cluster Headache On-Demand Neurostimulation Treatment Results Published
Feb. 5, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ben Pless, president and chief executive officer of Autonomic Technologies, Inc., is quoted in a press release about results of a multi-center European study of the company's implant being developed to treat chronic cluster headache through on-demand stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion. As reported in Cephalalgia, the device was shown to be highly effective in achieving fast pain relief with  acceptable safety profile compared to similar surgical procedures. The novel therapy also decreased attack frequency. In the study, patients received low- or no stimulation on a random basis for purposes of comparing controls in a blinded fashion. The experimental period was 30 attacks or eight weeks; 19 of 28 (68%) patients experienced a clinically significant improvement: seven (25%) achieved pain relief in ≥50% of treated attacks, 10 (36%), a ≥50% reduction in attack frequency, and two (7%), both. (Business Wire)

External Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation May Decrease Migraine Episodes
Feb. 4, 2013 - A study based at Liège University in Belgium indicates that external supraorbital nerve stimulation delivered daily for 20 minutes at a time may help to prevent migraine. In the study, 67 patients were followed for three months in the treated or control arms of the trial. The group that received clinical stimulation doses had 2.1 fewer migraine days per month, while there was no change in the control group. (American Academy of Neurology)

Researchers Consider Replacing Deep Brain Stimulation Leads with Micro Magnets
Feb. 1, 2013 - Preclinical brain stimulation magnetic implant research by International Medical Society member John T. Gale of the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues at Harvard Medical School was featured in a column based on their June 2012 publication in Nature Communications. (Scientific American Mind)

University Interviews Site Principal Investigator on Video About Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Mild Alzheimer's Disease
Jan. 31, 2013 - The University of Florida in Gainesville is participating in Functional Neuromodulation Inc.'s 20-patient study of deep brain stimulation in mild Alzheimer's disease, and posted a short video interview of site principal investigator Dr. Michael Okun discussing the study goal of trying to slow memory loss through neurostimulation to the fornix. (University of Florida)

Researchers Publish Phase II Results of External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy
Jan. 30, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ian Cook, MD, and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles and NeuroSigma, Inc., published results of a double-blind randomized active-control trial of 50 subjects who have drug-resistant epilepsy. The trail tested the suitability of external trigeminal nerve stimulation. The treatment group experienced a significant improvement in response over the 18-week treatment period, increasing from 17.8% at 6 weeks and 40.5% at 18 weeks. Overall 30.2% of the treatment group had a more than 50% reduction in seizure, compared to 21.1% for the active control group. The results will be used to design a larger, multi-center phase III clinical trial. (Neurology)

Web-Enbabled Dosing and Compliance Monitoring Described for Next-Generation Vagus Nerve Stimulation
January 30, 2013 - An article about potential treatments for acute illnesses with ElectroCore, Medical LLC's non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation system describes a next-generation device that would be rechargeable and web-enabled to receive refills and to communicate compliance and outcome information to the company, prescribing physicians, and insurance providers. The charging station would resemble an iTunes model that is web-enabled to provide additional doses that are downloaded after physician authorization. "This is the first example of a web refill," said J.P. Errico, founder of the New Jersey-based company. He explained the device, which is CE marked in Europe, relies on proprietary waveform and delivery technology to stimulate the vagus nerve through the skin. The company began patient enrollment at 10 U.S. centers in January for randomized, sham-controlled trial of chronic migraine prevention. (Medical Device Daily)

Deep Brain Stimulation is Said to Create a Niche for Neurologists in the Operating Room and Clinic
Jan. 29, 2013 - Since fellowships will likely evolve to include other technologies, and other nervous system regions beyond typical deep brain stimulation therapy, Drs. Anhar Hassan and Michael Okun suggest in an article for residents and fellows that a more accurate term for this potential niche of specialization for neurologists may be electrical neuro-network modulation. (Neurology)

Author Describes Future Vision of Neural Network Modulation
Jan. 31, 2013 - In response to letters accepted for publication about his October 2012 article on deep brain stimulation, Michael S. Okun, MD, of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration described an anticipated future of electrical neural-network modulation with the use of more leads and more targets per patient, especially as new symptoms emerge across various disease states; real-time monitoring of the inherent electrical signatures of the brain; more access to patients' personal electrical settings, so they may be able to “tune themselves"; telemedicine to improve satisfaction and to alleviate access problems; and the potential of coupling deep-brain stimulation to other therapies (such as gene therapy, the use of neurotrophic factors, and stem-cell therapy). In addition, he foresees hardware will become smaller and neurostimulator placement in the chest (with connector wires) will disappear, while leads may be coated to lessen infection risk. (New England Journal of Medicine)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Compatible Spinal Cord Stimulation Systems Released in Europe
Jan. 30, 2013 - Medtronic, Inc. released in Europe the first spinal cord stimulation systems for use in treating chronic back and/or leg pain that are designed for compatibility with full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans under specific conditions. The devices recently received CE Mark approval. They include special leads that can withstand MRI scanning and a proprietary programming option, SureScan, which sets an appropriate mode for an MRI environment. International Neuromodulation Society member J.P. Van Buyten, MD, from the AZ Niklaas Hospital in Belgium, was quoted as calling the development an important advancement. (National Pain Report)

Retinal Implant Maker Eyes Raising More Capital
Jan. 29, 2013 - Second Sight Medical of Sylmar, Calif. registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday to raise $25 million while waiting for the FDA to decide whether to approve its retinal implant, Argus II, which has been sold in Europe since 2011. (MassDevice)

Chronic Pain is Called a Poorly Recognized Silent Epidemic
Jan. 29, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society president Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, FFPMRCA, commented in conjunction with release of a survey of more than 1,000 chronic pain sufferers across Europe, "The Painful Truth Survey: The State of Pain Management in Europe," sponsored by Boston Scientific and supported by a number of regional pain associations. He noted that healthcare systems throughout the world have not really produced specific answers to the needs of patients who suffer chronic pain that is not resolved by addressing any identifiable underlying condition. Some 17% of Europeans, he continued, will have significant chronic pain affecting daily living, with about 1/3 of those having pain that is really quite severe. About half suffer from neuropathic pain that arises spontaneously from damage to the nervous system. Of the patients whose neuropathic pain does not respond to pharmacological treatment, he said, spinal cord stimulation becomes an option, and has been advancing technologically since he first began using it slightly more than 20 years ago. (Boston Scientific)

Global Randomized Clinical Trial to Compare Medical Management With Or Without Spinal Cord Stimulation for Lower Back Pain
Jan. 28, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Philippe Rigoard, M.D., is principal investigator of a global randomized clinical trial of patients with predominant low back pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. The study, sponsored by Medtronic, Inc., compares optimal medical management combined with use of a multicolumn, implantable lead for neurostimulation treatment  and optimal medical management alone. The first of up to 300 patients in the PROMISE trial began treatment in the U.S. earlier this month, and Dr. Rigoard started enrolling patients January 14 at Poitiers University Hospital in France. The study is designed to assess the value of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for predominant low back pain with leg pain. Previous studies focused on predominant leg pain. Health care utilization data will be collected to develop cost analysis models to potentially evaluate the long-term economic impact of SCS. (Yahoo Finance)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Be Investigated as Adjunct to Stroke Rehabilitation
Jan. 28, 2013 - Stroke researchers at Glagsow University are starting a clinical trial in which results of patients who receive vagus nerve stimulation during physiotherapy to improve arm movement will be compared to another group who receive stroke rehabilitation without the stimulation. The trail is using the Vivistim vagus nerve stimulation system being developed by Dallas-based Microtransponder Inc., which is sponsoring the study. (Herald Scotland)

German Team Reports Case of Deep Brain Stimulation Relieving Self-Injurious Behavior in a Patient with Autism
Jan. 25, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, director of the Center for Neuromodulation at Wexner Medical Center in Ohio, was quoted as commenting on a published report about deep brain stimulation to the amygdaloid complex and supra-amygdaloid projection helping improve self-injurious behavior in an autistic patient whose case was reported in Frontiers in Neuroscience on Jan. 21. He was quoted as calling the patient's gains after 24 months "intriguing and promising". The authors report that the case supports a hypothesis about role of the amygdala, especially the basolateral part, in the pathogenesis of the condition. (Science News)

Signal Processing Expert Pursues Voice Analysis Project to Discern Indicators of Parkinson's Disease
Jan. 25, 2013 - An applied mathematician presents a concept-in-progress of using voice analysis to quickly and remotely spot potential signs of Parkinson's disease motor symptoms. The project director, Max Little, PhD, received his doctorate at the University of Oxford and became a Wellcome Trust/MIT fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where he applies his background in digital signal processing.  The work is based on a dataset of 10,000 voices voluntarily provided by callers over the telephone. (TED)

India Hospital Adds Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Services
Jan. 24, 2013 - A Parkinson's disease patient is reported to be the first to receive deep brain stimulation treatment in Gujaret, India. One member of the Sterling Hospitals surgical team, Dr. Paresh Doshi, previously conducted stereotactic and functional neurosurgery in Mumbai. He was quoted as calling India "the most sought-after and cost effective medical tourism destination of the world," saying costs are about 15% that of North America and the U.K. (Times of Udaipur)

Hospital Begins Offering Sacral Nerve Stimulation Services for Pediatric Patients with Treatment-resistant Urinary and/or Bowel Incontinence
Jan. 24, 2013 - Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio now offers sacral nerve stimulation for the  a small percentage of children with chronic incontinence of the bowel, bladder, or both who do not respond to medication or behavioral modification. (News-Medical.net)

INS Website's List of Terminology Descriptions Grows
Jan. 24, 2013 - The latest addition to the International Neuromodulation Society's list of descriptions of terminology for use by patients or the general public is a brief overview about neuromodulation therapy. Since its inception one year ago -- through the efforts of the website's editorial contributors, the list of short explanations for treatment and condition terms has been viewed some 30,000 times by INS website visitors. (International Neuromodulation Society)  

Brain Scan Study of Parkinson's Patients Shows Impact of Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation During Exercise
Jan. 22, 2013 - A positron-emission study of 12 Parkinson's disease patients at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan, published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, suggests beneficial effects of subthalamic nucleus stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease are partly down to compensatory activation of non-motor dopamine pathways during exercise. (medwireNews)

First Patient Receives Implant in U.S. Alzheimer's Disease Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Jan. 21, 2013 - The first U.S. patient has received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant in a clinical trial exploring DBS as a treatment option for early-state Alzheimer's disease according to an announcement by the Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, which calls the neuromodulation team at Ohio State pioneers in the use of DBS to treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as exploring the use of DBS for other neurological and neurobehavioral conditions. (Wexner Medical Center - Ohio State University)

Television Show Features Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson's Disease
Jan. 17, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD, was featured in a television segment about a patient's deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson's disease. Dr. Kopell likened it to receiving a brain pacemaker implant that could restore a more normal lifestyle, saying, "This is among the most technologically advanced surgeries that we do in medicine." (MYFOXNY)

Patent Application Proposes Smaller Pocket Controller for Neurostimulation Implant Patients' Use
January 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society members Michael Labbe and Jeff Gagnon are names as inventors on a patent application that was cleared for further review on Jan. 10, 2013. Also named as inventors were Steven E. Wilder and Ben Cottrill. Aside from turning on or adjusting neurostimulation to an implant, the application states, few patients use advanced controls to adjust program frequency and individual pulse/area stimulation features such as pulse width. Since hand-held controllers are slightly large for readily carrying in a pocket, the application proposes creation of a smaller pocket controller to provide the main options while a patient is on the go, along with an integrated controller-charger and charging module as part of the set. The patent is assigned to Greatbatch, Inc. (Equities.com)

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for One Patient is Described in Article for Alzheimer's Research Audience
Jan. 13, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Antonio De Salles, MD, PhD, who directs the Stereotactic Surgery program at the University of California, Los Angeles, is profiled in a detailed description of a patient undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson's disease. The article also summarizes recent research into DBS as a potential intervention in early-stage Alzheimer's disease.  (Alzheimer Research Forum)

Feasibility Study Shows Telepresence Robot Can Aid Neuromodulation Programming Sessions
Jan. 16, 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ivar Mendez, MD, PhD was featured in an article about a feasibility study showing that neuromodulation device programming can be guided remotely by an expert using a telepresence robot with a digital camera, microphones, and laptop interface, as well as an arm that can remotely indicate which buttons to push on the programming screen. A preliminary study he led showed no significant difference in accuracy or clinical outcomes between 10 programming sessions carried out remotely and 10 performed by an expert in person. (Medical Xpress)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Yielded Improvements in Depression Scores in Small Italian Study
Jan. 8, 2013 - A study of six patients with treatment-resistant depression who received vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) was published by the Departments of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan. The patients were followed for at least 12 months. After three months, the patients showed statistically significant improvements in depression scores, and after 12 months, they also showed improvements in depression rating scales as well as in clinical global impression. Also, the patients showed an overall favorable tolerability to the VNS implant. (The Journal of ECT)

University Announces Grant for Brain Stimulation Research Laboratory
January 2013 - Iowa State University will receive $395,280, to establish a laboratory for brain stimulation research, from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa. One of the goals is to find noninvasive methods of stimulating deep-lying regions of the brain to potentially treat a wide range of issues – from concussion, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, to degenerative issues such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke. (Iowa State University Foundation)

Some 1,500 Attendees Expected at INS 11th World Congress in June in Berlin
Jan. 9, 2013 - More than 1,500 attendees are expected at the INS 11th World Congress in Berlin in June that centers on all aspects of development of therapeutic applications of neuromodulation. (Newswise)

Smart Phone Interface Technology Presented for Controlling TENS
Jan. 9, 2013 - The Consumer Electronics Show included what was presented as a certified transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation medical product by China-based E-Tek that uses an iPhone interface, according to a blog covering the event. (9to5Mac)

External Peripheral Nerve Stimulator to Initially Target Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain
Jan. 8, 2013 - SPR Therapeutics expects CE mark certification for its Smartpatch peripheral nerve stimulator to be announced shortly, according to published comments by the chief executive officer of the Cleveland-based company. Also, the company plans clinical trials at six U.S. centers in the next few months, initially targeting post-stroke shoulder pain. Finally, the company was reported to have raised an additional $2.8 million in financing, bringing the total to $5 million from NDI Healthcare Fund, Public Square Partners and individual investors. (MedCity News)

Market Study Projects Neuromodulation Growth to $12.45 billion by 2023
Jan. 8, 2013 - London-based Visiongain predicts a $12.45 billion global market for neuromodulation devices by 2023, with sales of $3.03 billion in 2011. Hemant Mistry, healthcare industry analyst, says, "The neuromodulation device market has experienced substantial growth in recent years, as their benefits in cost saving particularly have become more evident. Such devices can not only provide long-term relief to patients, but can also offer an effective alternative to the use of drugs that are well-known to have side effects . . . (although the initial cost of the device and surgery to implant the device is high, their prescription is cost-effective in the long-term). With future developments in the pipeline such as phrenic nerve and gastric stimulators . . . the market for neuromodulation devices has significant potential to grow in the future". (PR Newswire)

The INS 11th World Congress Abstract Deadline is Now Feb. 14, 2013
Jan. 8, 2013 - The INS 11th World Congress that takes place June 8 - 13 in Berlin, "Neuromodulation: Technology Transforming Chronic Illness Management," is extending the abstract submission deadline by one month to 14 February 2013. This final deadline will have no further extensions. (INS)

Winter INS Newsletter Informs Members About Chapter Activities Worldwide
Jan. 8, 2013 - The winter newsletter of the INS is now online, featuring a president's message, updates, and annual chapter recaps, including news that Japan now covers the cost of deep brain stimulation and spinal cord stimulation procedures. (INS)

INS and Touch Medical Media Partner to Publicize Neuromodulation Research
Jan. 8, 2013 - INS is entering into a media partnership with Touch Medical Media, which publishes the European Neurological Review. INS may distribute information to members from them later, and the organization will also list the INS logo, contact information, and link on its website, www.neurology.com. (INS)

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools 2012

Newspaper Recounts Woman's Attempt to Get Health Care Coverage for Gastric Stimulation
Dec. 28, 2012 - A woman whose gastroparesis prevents her from eating solid food believes controlling the condition using neurostimulation would be more cost-effective than her repeated hospitalizations, but has been turned down for an implant by the National Health Service in West Sussex after a panel of four consultants, three general practitioners and two lay people felt there was not sufficient evidence the requested treatment would be effective for her. (Crowley and Horley Observer)

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)

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)

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. (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)

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)

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.)

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)

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 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)

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 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 internal 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)

U.S. Army Base is Promoting Awareness of Safe Painkiller Use and Alternatives Such As Neuromodulation
Nov. 13, 2012 - The U.S. Army's Operation OpioidSAFE was created in 2008 at Ft. Bragg, California to educate soldiers, their families, and primary care providers about the importance of safe prescription drug use and alternative pain treatments such as neuromodulation, according to a press release by the North American Neuromodulation Society, a chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Sacramento Bee)

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)

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)

First Patient Results Reported From Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Lower Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Nov. 12, 2012 - SetPoint Medical announced positive results from the first-ever human study of eight patients using an implanted vagus nerve stimulation device to reduce inflammation and treat rheumatoid arthritis. The results were announced at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting.  Two of the eight patients reached remission as measured by the Disease Activity Score, and six of the eight had a positive response as measured by the American College of Rheumatology's scoring, to a level of ACR 20. (SetPoint Medical)

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) 

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.(International Neuromodulation Society)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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. (Sacramento Bee)

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)

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)

Lab Research Contributes to Understanding of Memory Formation
Sept. 13, 2012 - Researchers from Case Western Reserve University used electrical stimulation to the hippocampus of rat brains and observed memory-like patterns of neuron activity that survived for about 10 seconds. The research may be an early step in understanding problems in memory caused by neurodegenerative disease. (Discover)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)  

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients Showed Improvement After Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation in Single-Center Trial
Sept. 3, 2012 - ImTherma Medical, Inc. of San Diego, Calif. announced that results of a study of 13 patients with obstructive sleep apnea who received targeted hypoglossal nerve stimulation will be published in the European Respiratory Journal, and showed significant and sustained response in the 76% who responded to therapy.  (Herald Online)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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. (Herald Online)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 subthalmic 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)

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) 

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Review Examines Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Tourette Syndrome
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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Study: Transcraneous 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 transcutaneous 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)

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)

Tibial Nerve Stimulation to be Examined in Muscular and Cortical Response in Cerebral Palsy
May 17, 2012 - The University of Nebraska Medical Center's Center for Clinical and Translational Research has awarded about $75,000 for a pilot investigation into using peripheral nerve stimulation (of the tibial nerve) to promote muscular and cortical plasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Ten children with CP and 10 without will be compared. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) will determine if stimulation of the tibial nerve can alter the responsiveness of the somatosensory cortices that represent the foot. The research will also examine the steadiness of the performance of the lower extremity joint musculature, and tactile acuity on the bottom of the foot. (UNMC)

Review: Posterior Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Functional Electrical Stimulation Using Brain-Computer Interface Reported in Nature
April 18, 2012 - In a report in the journal Nature, 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)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)

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 (Washington Post, New York Times, ABC News, Wall Street Journal Digital, and more). (New England Journal of Medicine)

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)

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) 

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)

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)

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)

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)

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools 2011

Brainsway Ltd Announces Interim Results In Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trial
December 28, 2011 - Brainsway Ltd. announced that in interim results with 26 patients from a double-blinded clinical trial at the Charité Hospital in Berlin and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, regarding the safety and efficacy of its Deep TMS device for multiple sclerosis, the group receiving low-frequency motor cortex stimulation reported a decrease in depression. (Globe Newswire)

Migraines Relieved by Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
December 27, 2011 - A patient of neurosurgeon Alexander Green, a member of the INS' Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland, was profiled in the U.K. Daily Mail about finding relief from her weekly migraines after becoming the approximately 200th patient in the U.K. to receive a peripheral nerve stimulation implant. (Daily Mail)

Computers Implanted in Brain Could Help Paralyzed
December 27, 2011 - In the coming decades, scientists say, the field of neural prosthetics - of inventing and building devices that harness brain activity for computerized movement - is going to revolutionize how people who have suffered major brain damage interact with their world. (SF Gate)

First U.S. use of AdaptiveStim with RestoreSensor Reported
December 23, 2011 - St. Mary's Pain Relief Center in Huntington reported that it conducted the first U.S. surgery to use a neurostimulation device that automatically adjusts with the movement of the patient. (WOWKTV.com)

Studies Aim to Explore Structural Changes in White and Grey Matter to Understand Mechanisms of Stroke Recovery
December 6, 2011 – Can transcranial direct current stimulation improve movement in stroke patients? Parallel studies in rats and people, comparing changes in white and grey matter in the brain, will examine the effects of increased plasticity when subjects are taught a new limb movement. (Wellcome Trust)

Sorin Group Plans Neurostimulation Studies for Congestive Heart Failure in 2012
December 5, 2011 – The Italian medical technology company Sorin Group has invested $7 million in Enopace Biomedical to develop its implantable neurostimulator. The device increases heart efficiency by reducing workload placed on the left ventricle. (Mass Device)

Fund Provides Neuroscience Pilot Grants at University of Minnesota
December 5, 2011 – The University of Minnesota has established $500,000 in annual support for neuroscience research through the Wallin Discovery Fund. The first round of awards are supporting four projects, including one examining the effect of deep brain stimulation on addiction. (Minnesota Star Tribune)

Smart Deep Brain Stimulation Could Reduce Parkinson’s Symptoms through Neural Monitoring
December 2, 2011 – Researchers in Milan have reported developing a smart deep brain stimulation device for Parkinson’s that monitors neuron activity and determines exactly where electrical impulses are needed before delivering them, which should help reduce symptoms. (UPI.com)

Neuromodulation Global Market Reaches an Estimated $3 billion in 2011

November 30, 2011 – Neuromodulation is one of the fastest-growing medical device market sectors. The market research report “Neuromodulation Devices: World Market Prospects 2011-2021” by Visiongain pegs the global value in 2011 at $3 billion. (PR Web)

FDA: Acute Residual Limb Pain in Amputees Can be Treated with Neuros Medical’s Electrical Nerve Block
November 29, 2011 - Neuros Medical, Inc. has received Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) approval from the FDA for its high-frequency Electrical Nerve Block technology for use in acute treatment of residual limb pain in amputees. The implanted system has a pacemaker-like stimulus generator, lead wires, and a cuff electrode. It is designed for applications such as neuroma/residual limb pain, chronic post-surgical pain, and chronic migraine. (MedGadget)

Sapiens Receives Development Funding for High-Resolution Probe for Deep Brain Stimulation
November 29, 2011 – Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation announced a €3.5 million Strategic Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust to support development of next-generation deep-brain stimulation technology. Sapeins is developing a high-resolution probe for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders. An additional €6.5 million in funding has been received from the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Agentschap NL. (Wellcome Trust)

Pilots Improve Learning with Direct Current Stimulation, U.S. Air Force Finds
November 25, 2011 – Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation boosts learning, Air Force researchers reported. Pilots being trained to guide unmanned attack drones learned more quickly and sustained the learning with this mild electrical stimulation to the brain. The results were presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. (Scientific American)

Team Tailors Functional Electrical Stimulation by Adjusting Ion Concentrations
November 21, 2011 – A plastic surgery research team from Harvard University’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and engineers from MIT are creating a low-current functional electrical stimulation device designed to decrease side effects by manipulating the concentration of charged particles around the nerve. Unwanted muscle contractions and stimulation of nearby sensory nerves could be minimized with the concept, demonstrated in frogs and reported in Nature Materials. (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center)

INS Leaders are Featured in Daily Mail Article about the Use of Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Sciatic Pain
November 22, 2011 - Dr. Simon Thomson, President of the International Neuromodulation Society, and Dr. Sam Eldabe, President-Elect of the Neuromodulation Society of the UK and Ireland, are interviewed in a story describing the positive outcome of spinal cord stimulation in a patient who had previously suffered for years from chronic sciatic pain. (UK Daily Mail)

Deep Brain Stimulation Shown to Reverse Damage of Alzheimer's Disease in Small Study

November 23, 2011 - At the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting last week, Dr. Andres Lozano and colleagues from Toronto Western Hospital, reported the findings of a six-patient, year-long study of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. After one year of stimulation, in all six patients, the reduced use of glucose by the temporal lobe and posterior circulate was reversed and, in the two of the patients whose hippocampuses grew in size, and they demonstrated better than expected cognitive function. (New Scientist)

New Study Reaffirms Benefit of Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Severe Depression
November 18, 2011 - A multi-center pilot study sponsored by St. Jude Medical, Inc., has shown that stimulation of Brodmann Area 25 improved depression symptoms and quality of life in patients suffering  from severe, refractory depression. This reaffirms outcomes of a previous study by Drs. Andres Lozano and Helen Mayberg that was published in Neuron in 2005. Conducted at three centers in Canada, the study showed 62 percent of the patients in the study had a 40 percent reduction in symptoms, as compared to their baselines. The full study results were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery. (MarketWatch)

Neurostimulator with Motor Sensor Approved by the FDA
November 17, 2011 - The AdaptiveStim™ with RestoreSenstor™ neurostimulation system from Medtronic, Inc., has received FDA approval for the treatment of chronic pain. Utilizing motion-sensor technology found in smart phones and computer gaming systems,  the device automatically adapts stimulation levels according to postural changes and subsequent fluctuations in the patient's stimulation requirements. This obviates the need for the user to make manual adjustments. (MedCity News)

Study Shows Brain Stimulator Effective in Reducing Seizures from Medically Refractory Epilepsy
November 8, 2011 - A recent study published in Neurology, reports the outcome of a 191-patients study, in which 97 patients were treated with NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS) System, while the remainder were in a placebo group. Of the 97 patients who received the neurostimulation, 37.9 percent experienced fewer seizures than prior to the therapy. (Newswise)

New Therapy Targeting Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain Shows Promise
October 26, 2011 - As part of a multi-center clinical study, a medical team from the Carolinas Medical Center has implanted SPR Therapeutics' Micropulse® peripheral,intramuscular nerve stimulator for the first time in a patient to treat shoulder pain associated with hemiplegia. The group has reported promising results from the first implant.
(MedCity News)

Researchers Develop Electrode Coating That Influences Local Concentration of Ions
October 26, 2011 - A team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are researching a calcium ionophore coating on implanted electrodes in frogs, that can either absorb or release calcium ions, depending on the direction of the current across the electrode. As a potential enhancement to existing electrodes, this membrane could help reduce the amount of current strength needed to stimulate nerves by modulating local calcium ions. (Royal Society of Chemistry)

Study on External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for the Treatment of Pediatric ADHD Announced
October 24, 2011 - In collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles, NeuroSigma, Inc., will launch its clinical trial on non-invasive, external trigeminal nerve stimulation to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The device interface consists of an adhesive, conductive pad that is affixed to the patient's forehead and stimulates the branches of the trigeminal nerve. (MarketWatch)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Funds Research on Floating Light Activated Micro-electrical Stimulators
October 17, 2011 - NINDS has provided a grant to researchers at Boston University to fund research on FLAMES, Floating Light Activated Micro-electrical Stimulators, for the "wireless activation of the central nervous system." The patient-controlled, external device would beam infrared light through an optical fiber outside the dura matter, to activate the implanted device to stimulate the desired neuron with electrical current. The device has not yet entered clinical trials. (R & D Magazine)

Trial on Transdermal Neuromodulation for Urge Incontinence and Overactive Bladder Commences
October 14, 2011 - EMKinetics, Inc., is launching the pivotal trail of its TranStim™ transdermal, posterior tibial nerve stimulator for the treatment of urinary urge incontinence and overactive bladder. Upon completion of the study, the company will apply  for CE Mark and FDA approval. (PR Newswire)

Small Clinical Trial Shows Promising Results for Treating Alzheimer's Disease with  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
October 6, 2011 - Initial results of Brainsway's 24-patient clinical trial on the use of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for Alzheimer's disease suggest that the "high frequency treatment leads to improvement of Alzheimer's disease assessment scales." (MedGadget)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) Receives Approval from Israeli Ministry of Health Approval for the Treatment of Intractable Psychiatric Disorders
October 4, 2011  - The Israeli Ministry of Health has granted approval of Brainsway Ltd.'s TMS for the treatment of neurological and psychopathological disorders, including intractable depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment. In April, the device received CE Mark approval in Europe for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and as an add-on treatment to antidepressants for major depression. (Mass Device)

Clinical Trial of Chronic Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Failure Commences
September 30, 2011 - Boston Scientific has launched its NECTAR-HF clinical trial on 96 patients at multiple centers in Europe, to assess preliminary efficacy and safety of its vagus nerve stimulation system for treating heart failure. The study will evaluate if the therapy can improve heart function and slow the progression of the heart failure. (Mass Device)

Diaphragm Pacing System that Assists Breathing in Some ALS Patients Receives FDA Approval
September 29, 2011 - Synapse Biomedical has received Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) from the FDA for its NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System, which electrically stimulates the diaphragm to contract, thus assisting patients with inadequate breathing to breathe. The 106-patient clinical trial demonstrated that the repeated stimulation strengthens the diaphragm muscles to help delay respiratory failure. (MedCity News)
New Research on Deep Brain Stimulation Studies the Subthalamic Nucleaus' (STN) Role in Making Tough Decisions
September 26, 2011 - A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience examines the regions of the brain involved in making difficult decisions and determined that when the prefrontal cortex requires time for deliberation, it engages the STN to halt impulsive urges from the striatum. In patients undergoing deep brain stimulation of the STN for Parkinson's disease, the STN was not engaged in this decision making process, thus allowing the patients to make  impulsive and less accurate decisions. These findings have suggested that brain regions communicate by low frequency signals and that if DBS could be refined to avoid or not affect this frequency range, it would not impair the STN's role in the decision-making process. (Science Daily)

Researchers to Launch Clinical Trial on Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for Refractory Epilepsy
September 23, 2011 - With support from the Epilepsy Therapy Project and the Epilepsy Foundation, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston’s epilepsy program soon will begin a clinical trail on patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy to study the effects of rTMS therapy. (Epilepsy Foundation)

New Scientific Study Shows That DBS May Help Improve Spatial Memory
September 22, 2011 - An animal study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that electrical stimulation of the entorhinal cortex in adult mice led to a two-fold increase in new cells in the hippocampus. The cells that were generated during the one hour of stimulation seemed to be functional, showing normal development and connection with adjacent brain cells. (Science Daily)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Holds Promise for Restoring Swallowing Function in Stroke Patients
September 12, 2011 - Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia are using transcranial magnetic stimulation and brain exercises to restore swallowing function in stroke survivors with impaired swallowing. In support of this research, the Australian Federal Government has provided  AU$300,000  in funding. (Dental Tribune)

St. Jude Medical Receives European Regulatory Approval for its Neurostimulator to Treat Intractable Chronic Migraine
September 7, 2011 - St. Jude Medical has received European CE Mark approval for its Genesis™ neurostimulator for peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves for the treatment of intractable chronic migraine. "The CE Mark approval was supported by the results of St. Jude Medical’s chronic migraine study, a randomized, double-blind, controlled study that collected data from 157 patients…" and "demonstrated that participants in the active group showed a 41% improvement after 12 weeks of stimulation, compared to a 13% improvement in the control group." (BusinessWire)

CVRx Receives European Approval for its Electrical Stimulator to Treat Hypertension
August 25, 2011 - CVRx has received CE Mark Approval for its Barostim neo, which treats uncontrolled hypertension by electrically stimulating the baroreceptors on the carotid artery. The stimulation causes the artery to relax and increase bloodflow, thereby enabling the heart to slow down and fill with more blood. Subsequently, the kidneys eliminate more fluid from the body, thus lowering excessive blood pressure. (MedGadget)

New Study Shows Promise for Treating Refractory Fibromyalgia with Vagus Nerve Stimulation

August 24, 2011 -  A preliminary study published in Pain Medicine, reports that vagus nerve stimulation may be effective for treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. At the three-month mark, five of the 11 patients studied experienced improvement in pain, overall wellness, and physical function. (About.com)

Epilepsy Organizations Provide New Therapy Grant to Support Clinical Study of rTMS for the Treatment of Refractory Focal Epilepsy
August 19, 2011 - The Epilepsy Therapy Project (ETP) and the Epilepsy Foundation (EF) have awarded the New Therapy Grant of approximately $200,000 to Alexander Rotenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology, Children's Hospital Boston, "to support a clinical study to evaluate the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) H-Coil as a promising non-invasive method of inhibiting the abnormal electrical activity believed to underlie seizures in focal temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)."  (Disabled World)

Sacral Nerve Stimulator Shows Promise for Treating Fecal Incontinence at Three-Year Follow-Up
August 15, 2011 - The Journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum has published a study on Medtronic's InterStim sacral nerve stimulator, showing that the therapy reduced episodes of fecal incontinence by at least 50% in 86% of the 77 individuals studied. The number of episodes per week decreased from a mean of 9.4 per week to 1.7 per week. Forty percent of the patients experienced complete continence. (MedGadget)

New Study Shows STN-DBS is Effective in Treating the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease for at Least 10 Years
August 8, 2011 - A study published in the Archives of Neurology followed 18 people who were implanted with STN-DBS in the mid- to late 1990s. The researchers assessed the study participants' motor skills, daily tasks and behavior at one, five and ten years, with stimulation and without, and determined that the subjects performed "significantly better overall when stimulated at each time point, even after 10 years."  (Nature.com - Spoonful of Medicine)

Apnex Medical Receives FDA Approval for Its Obstructive Sleep Apnea Clinical Trial
August 3, 2011 - Apnex Medical will initiate the clinical trial with 132 patients in 15 medical centers in the United States and five other sites in Australia and Europe. Sensing respiration, the implanted device electrically stimulates the hypoglossal nerve, making the tongue to move toward the front of the mouth. (MedCity News)

Study Shows Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Can Improve Brain Function in Schizophrenics
July 29, 2011 - Researchers at the Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) used an external transcranial direct current stimulator to stimulate the pre-frontal cortex of people with schizophrenia for 20 minutes. The results suggested that the stimulation improved learning abilities in those who demonstrated a propensity for learning prior to the stimulation. (Science Alert)

Three Companies Developing Neuromodulation Devices to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
July 27, 2011 - Apnex Medical, IMThera, Inspire Medical Systems, are developing implantable neurostimulators for the treatment of moderate to severe obstructive  sleep apnea. Both Apnex's and Inspire's systems sense respiration and deliver mild stimulation to the largest muscle of the tongue, while IMThera's technology does not sense respiration, but stimulates multiple muscles of the tongue. (MedCity News)

New Transdermal Stimulator Launched To Treat Chemotherapy-Related Nausea and Vomiting
July 13, 2011 -  At the 2011 Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Neurowave Medical Technologies presented positive clinical results on a new transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator  being used to reduce nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.  The Nometex device stimulates the median nerve on the underside of the wrist and modulate gastric rhythm via neural pathways and vagus nerve. (Reuters)

Medtronic Receives Clearance for Blood Pressure Study
July 11, 2011 - Medtronic has received FDA approval of the design of a clinical study to treat hypertension using focused low-power radio frequency applied through the Simplicity Catheter System to the renal arteries near the kidneys. The study will be conducted in 60 centers across the U.S. and will include 500 patients. (Star Tribune) 

St. Jude Medical Receives Approval for Expansion of its Study on DBS for Severe Depression
July 11, 2011 - The FDA has given St. Jude Medical clearance to expand its clinical study, which will be conducted at 20 medical centers across the U.S. and will include 125 patients suffering from severe depression. Outside the U.S., similar studies already are underway. (MedCity News)

New Study Shows Promise of Treating Chronic Migraine Headaches with Occipital Nerve Stimulation
June 29, 2011 - At the 15th Annual International Headache Congress in Berlin, Germany, St. Jude Medical, Inc., reported positive new results from a study on its Genesis neurostimulator. One year out, 66 percent of those who received the therapy reported "good or excellent headache improvement." (MedGadget)

Novel Device to Treat Cluster Headaches Shows Promise in Preliminary Study
June 27, 2011 - At the 15th Annual International Headache Congress in Berlin, Germany, Autonomic Technologies, Inc., reported positive preliminary findings on the safety and efficacy of its miniaturized neurostimulator for the treatment of cluster headaches. Of those who received the therapy, more than 70 percent "experienced a reduction in the frequency of their headaches." (MarketWatch)

Neural Prosthesis Restores Cognitive, Mnemonic Processes in Rats
June 17, 2011 - Dr. Theodore Berger and colleagues implanted tiny electrodes in the hippocampus of rats to read neural activity and emulate the firing pattern of neurons. In cognitively impaired rats, the researchers used electrical stimulation pulses to substitute the firing patterns and restore brain function. The original research was published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. (New York Times)

CerebralRX Announces Launch of its Vagus Nerve Stimulator for Epilepsy
June 16, 2011 - Cerebral RX, a spinoff of BioControl Medical, has launched its FitNeS vagus nerve stimulator in Europe and has reported two successful implants in Sweden. The device stimulates the left vagus nerve to treat refractory epilepsy. (MedGadget)

Direct Current Stimulation of the Superior Medial Frontal Cortex May Modulate Inhibitory Control
June 15, 2011 - Researchers from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Central University in Taiwan reported their findings in the June 2011 issue of Neuroimage. This non-invasive neuromodulatory therapy potentially may be used to treat conditions such as drug addiction, Tourette's syndrome, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

BioControl to Spin Off Cerebral Rx and Vagus Nerve Stimulator for Epilepsy
June 14, 2011 - BioControl's vagus nerve stimulator, which is used to treat heart failure symptoms, also will be used for treating epilepsy. Due to the device's similarity to the  CardioFit system, which already has received FDA and CE Mark approval, it should not require many clinical trials for approval. (Globes)

High-frequency Stimulation to Block Chronic Amputation Pain
June 13, 2011 - The results of Dr. Amol Soin's research and the first human test of the technology were presented at the INS Congress in London. The device, which  stimulates the peripheral nerves, could potentially treat other chronic pain such as chronic migraine and trigeminal neuralgia. (Health Leaders Media)

Two Start-Ups Use Brain Stimulation to Treat Alzheimer's Disease
May 12, 2011 - Functional Neuromodulation is conducting research led by Dr. Andres Lozano on the effects of deep brain stimulation to "boost activity in the memory circuits." Neuronix is using transcranial magnetic stimulation to target specific regions of the brain in combination "with cognitive training tasks designed to activate those regions."  (MIT Technology Review)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation May Help Stroke-Related Dysphagia
March 25, 2011 - According to a pilot study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, stroke patients who were treated with a combination of both Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and swallowing exercises showed improvement in swallowing ability. (Science Daily)

Early Study Shows Promising Results for Treating Amputation Pain
April 7, 2011 - An early study of Neuros Medical's high frequency electrical nerve block technology has show promising results in treating chronic amputation pain. (MedGadget)

Scientists Discuss Ethics and Long-Term Findings in the Treatment of  Psychiatric Disorders with Deep Brain Stimulation
February 21, 2011 - At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Drs. Michael Okun, Benjamin Greenberg, Helen Mayberg and Joseph Fins participated in a session discussing the scientific and ethical issues for the surgical treatment of psychiatric disorders. (UK Daily Mail)

Long-Term Study Results of Deep Brain Stimulation for Intractable OCD Reported
February 20, 2011 - At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Benjamin Greenberg of Brown University  reported the longest-term results of a multicenter study on using deep brain stimulation to treat obsessive compulsive disorder. Patients who initially showed improvement when first receiving stimulation, remained improved if they continued to receive the stimulation - for eight years and beyond. (Science Daily)

Initial, Short-Term Study of New Stimulator Shows Promise in Treating Amputees' Pain
January 18, 2011 - Neuros Medical, Inc., conducted an initial, 30-day feasibility study of Nerve Block, a high-frequency alternating current neurostimulator, for the treatment of chronic residual limb pain.  The company stated that the first patient reported "significant pain relief." (Crains Cleveland Business)

Researchers Pair Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve and Auditory Cortex to Treat Tinnitus
January 17, 2011 - In their study published in Nature, scientists at MicroTransponder, Inc., a company producing neurostimulators, reported that stimulating the vagus nerve while simultaneously playing notes that are either higher or lower than the suspected tinnutus frequency "completely eliminated the physiological and behavioural correlates of tinnitus in noise-exposed rats." (MedGadget)

Report on Potential Benefits of Stimulation Therapies for Psychiatric Disorders
January 11, 2011 - According to a Wall Street Journal report, technologies that stimulate or calm the brain with electricity, ultrasound or magnetism hold promise for treating a host of psychiatric disorders. Using imaging technologies, such as functional MRIs and PET scans, neuroscientists hope to better identify anatomical targets and, subsequently, the best therapy options for their patients. (Wall Street Journal)

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools 2010 & Earlier 

Australian Researchers Develop Smartchip to Treat Chronic Pain
December 14, 2010 - Researchers at National ICT Australia have developed the Implantable Neuro Sensing and Stimulation Device (INS2), an implantable neurostimulator the size of a match head, which monitors the properties of the nerves that conduct pain signals to the brain and subsequently delivers stimulation of up to 10 volts, blocking the pain signals.  Human trials will begin in 2011 in Australia. (ITWire)

Large-Scale Trial of Device to Treat Sleep Apnea Announced
November 29, 2010 - Inspire Medical, a spin-off company from Medtronic, has received the FDA's clearance to launch a pivotal study in which 100 patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will be implanted with a neurostimulator which will stimulate the hypoglossal nerve on each breathing cycle to prevent the tongue from collapsing and obstructing the airway. (Star Tribune)

ImThera Raises More than $1 Million to Complete Trials of Sleep Apnea Neurostimulator
November 19, 2010 - ImThera will use the funds to complete its studies in Europe, and begin the application process to the FDA for its hypoglossal stimulator which triggers muscle tone in key tongue muscles during sleep, thus opening the upper airway and reducing or eliminating obstruction. (Mass Device)

New Neural Probe Senses and Stimulates Individual Neurons in the Brain
November 11, 2010 - A research institute from Leuven, Belgium, Imec, has developed a new probe containing hundreds of electrodes that can be controlled individually. Applications of the new device include fundamental research on the way the brain functions, as well as pre-operative diagnostics for epilepsy and potentially other conditions. (MedGadget)

New Neurostimulator Treats Postoperative Nausea
October 21, 2010 - A new external neurostimulator, Reletex, worn on the wrist, electrically stimulates the neurons in the median nerve pathway to modulate anti-nausea feedback mechanisms. The device comes with controls that patients can adjust according to their symptoms. (CNET news)

Researchers Develop Cochlear Implant to Treat Meniere's Disease
October 21, 2010 - Drs. Jay Rubenstein and James Phillips at the University of Washington Medical Center have re-engineered the software and electrode arrays of an existing FDA-approved cochlear implant, to treat the balance disorders associated with Meniere's Disease. A 10-person surgical trial to test the device is starting this week. (Daily Tech)

Diaphragm Pacing System for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Receives Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) Designation
October 12, 2010 - The NeuRx Diaphragm Pacer from Synapse Biomedical, Inc., has received HUD designation for use in ALS patients who have chronic hypoventilation with intact phrenic nerves. The implanted device applies electrical stimulation to the phrenic nerve of the diaphragm muscles, causing diaphragm contraction that emulates natural breathing. (MedGadget)

A New Study Reports the Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
October 4, 2010 - Dr. Damiaan Denys and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam reported the outcome of their study of 16 OCD patients in Archives of General Psychiatry. Of the 16 patients studied, 9 were identified as "responders" to deep brain stimulation and experienced an average of 72% improvement in their symptoms. According to the authors, this was the first double-blind, sham-controlled study targeting the nucleus accumbens. (MedPage Today)

Small Study Reports Benefits of Occipital Neurostimulation for the the Treatment of Refractory Migraine
September 18, 2010 - In an article published in Cephalalgia, Dr. Joel Saper and colleagues report the outcome of their study of 67 chronic, refractory migraine patients:  39% of the 33 patients receiving occipital neurostimulation received at least a 50% reduction in the number of headache days per month. (Los Angeles Times/Booster Shots blog)

NeuroVista Raises $21.5M
August 25, 2010 - NeuroVista has raised $16.5 million in equity with GBS Venture Partners, and has garnered an additional $5 million through a convertible debt agreement with Cyberonics, the producer of a vagus nerve stimulator used to treat epilepsy. The funding will be invested in ongoing clinical trials of the company’s Seizure Advisory System, which monitors the brain's  EEG and detects oncoming seizures -- giving patients time either to take fast-acting medication or to lie down safely. (Xconomy)

Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Promise in Fight Against Alzheimer’s
August 6, 2010 - In their study of six patients from 2005-2008, Dr. Andres M. Lozano and his team at Toronto Western Hospital have shown that using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on patients with early signs of Alzheimer's disease is safe and may help improve memory or slow its deterioration. The results of the study are reported in the August 4th issue of The Annals of Neurology. (Science Daily)

EnteroMedics Receives Conditional FDA Approval for Obesity Trial
August 2, 2010 - EnteroMedics has cleared the first hurdle of getting an FDA approval to start its trial on the use of vagus nerve stimulation to treat obesity; however, more funding is necessary to move forward with the study. (Reuters)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Used to Treat Heart Failure
July 29, 2010 - Medtronic has announced that it is  launching a clinical trial on the use of a spinal cord stimulator to treat heart-failure by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. (Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal)

Chip Holds Promise for Refining Brain Stimulation
July 9, 2010 - A Rehabilitation Nano Chip that can modulate the delivery of electrical stimulation to diseased parts of the brain by recording and analyzing brain activity, holds promise for enabling more precise and flexible DBS treatment for conditions such as Parkinson's Disease. The research team hopes to complete its experiments within the next six months and, within the next few years, start treating patients with neurological conditions. (CNET/crave)

Spinal Cord Stimulator Story Featured on BBC News
July 5, 2010 - The BBC featured a story of a patient in the U.K. whose chronic pain was successfully treated with neurostimulation - the first implant of Medtronic's Restore neurostimulator in Britain.

CVRx Reports Positive Four-Year Results for its Anti-Blood Pressure Device
June 21, 2010 - CVRx's four-year study revealed that patients being treated with its stimulator experienced a drop in blood pressure. The device stimulates the baroceptors in the carotid artery. The brain instructs the arteries to relax, which eases the flow of blood throughout the body, and the heart to slow down, allowing more time for the heart to fill with blood.  (MedCity News)

FDA Clears The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator for the Treatment of Depression
June 8, 2010 - The FDA has approved use of UAB’s Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation ( rTMS), to deliver highly focused, MRI-strength magnetic pulses to the brain. This therapy is indicated for people suffering from depression that is refractory to pharmacological treatment.  (Birmingham Business Journal)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Autoimmune Diseases
June 1, 2010 - SetPoint Medical, a startup based in Boston, is developing a vagal nerve stimulator designed to modulate the immune system response associated with autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The technology has been developed from ten years of animal research, studying how the vagus nerve carries signals between the brain and visceral organs, and plays a role in controlling inflammation. (MIT Technology Review)

Forthcoming Clinical Trail to Investigate Vagus Nerve Stimulation for the Treatment of Tinnitus
May 24, 2010 - MicroTransponder is  adapting its neurostimulation technology, currently being developed for chronic pain, to stimulate the vagus nerve for tinnitus. Researchers plan to test the therapy in upcoming clinical trials in Belgium. (MIT Technology Review)

The Pentagon to Support Research on Optogenetic Technology
to Repair Injured Brains

May 12, 2010 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investing $14.9 million in optogenetics research, for the development of implantable microdevices that may help restore brain function. The REPAIR project (for Reorganization and Plasticity to Accelerate Injury Recovery), will include researchers from Stanford University, Brown University, the University of California-San Francisco and University College London.  (MedGadget)

A Study in the UK has Found DBS and Medical Therapy for Parkinson's Disease more Effective than Medical Therapy Alone
April 29, 2010 - The results of the 10-year study on 366 patients, funded by the charity Parkinson's UK, are published in The Lancet. (BBC News)

A Silk Brain Implant is Being Developed to Treat Epilepsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Other Neurological Disorders
April 18, 2010 - A brain implant consisting of protein from silk and thin metal electrodes holds promise for treating epilepsy, spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. The biocompatible silk dissolves into the brain and maximizes direct contact between the electrodes and the brain tissue. (Reuters)

Retinal Implant: First Results from Human Trial
March 19, 2010 - Retinal Implant AG from Reutlingen, Germany has announced the results of the first human trial of its subretinal implant. Eleven patients who lost their sight due to retinitis pigmentosa received the implant through surgical transchoroidal implantation. Energy was delivered to the implant via a retroauricular plug. Implantation was successful in all patients without any adverse events.The results of this clinical trial will be presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s (ARVO) annual meeting May 2-6 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (MedGadget)

Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Epileptic Seizures in Patients with Refractory Partial and Secondarily Generalized Seizures
March 18, 2010 - A recent study organized by Stanford University researchers found patients with refractory partial and generalized seizures had a reduction in seizures after deep brain stimulation.  This multi-center clinical trial determined that the benefits of stimulation of the anterior nuclei of thalamus for epilepsy (SANTE) persisted and by 2 years there was a 56% reduction in seizure frequency.  Full findings of this study are available early online in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy. (Epilepsia, Wiley-Blackwell)

Hand-held device on trial for migraine sufferers
March 4, 2010 - A new hand-held device that delivers a magnetic pulse to the back of the head could become an alternative to drug treatment for people with migraines. The findings of a 200-person study, published in The Lancet Neurology, showed that the single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) from the device is a promising acute treatment for some patients with migraine with aura.  (BBC News)

Imaging Advances Promote Growth of DBS
March 4, 2010 - Neurosurgeons are developing new tools to improve the implantation process. (Neurotech Business Report)

New MRI May Lead to Better Brain Pictures
March 1, 2010 - Researchers are reporting that they've developed a new kind of MRI sensor that can detect the neurotransmitter known as dopamine, potentially allowing doctors to get better views inside the brain.  (HealthDay News)

Study results send shares of Uroplasty climbing
March 1, 2010 - The results from a 220-patient clinical trial using the UrgentPC device to stimulate the tibial nerve in the ankle to treat urge incontinence and frequency urination, will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Urology. In the study, 58% of the patients  experienced "moderately or markedly improved" symptoms, compared with 22% of the patients who received a simulated procedure. (Star Tribune)

Electric stimulation may help stroke victims swallow
February 24, 2010 - Tiny electric shocks to the throat may help stroke victims overcome disabling swallowing difficulties, a small British study suggests. (Reuters Health)

A Brain Implant that Uses Light - A novel optical device could ultimately be used to treat neurological disease
February 24, 2010 - Researchers at Medtronic are developing a prototype neural implant that uses light to alter the behavior of neurons in the brain. The device is based on the emerging science of optogenetic neuromodulation, in which specific brain cells are genetically engineered to respond to light. (Technology Review)

Implanted Sensor Could Provide Clues to Brain Chemistry
A system to detect brain chemicals may improve therapies for Parkinson's and other disorders.

February 16, 2010 - Over the last decade, deep brain stimulation, in which an implanted electrode delivers targeted jolts of electricity, has given surgeons an entirely new way to treat challenging neurological diseases. More than 75,000 people have undergone the procedure for Parkinson's and other disorders. But despite its success, scientists and surgeons know little about its actual effect on the brain or exactly why it works. (MIT Technology Review)

Test of "artificial pancreas" offers diabetes hope.  Study is first test to prove new device improves care
February 4, 2010  - Scientists have used an "artificial pancreas" system of pumps and monitors to improve blood sugar control in diabetes patients in the first study to show the new device works better than conventional treatment. (Reuters)

Brain Scans Suggest Some Vegetative Patients May Be Aware
February 3, 2010 -  Some patients thought to be in a vegetative state actually show signs of consciousness when assessed with a brain scan. (U.S. News)

Depression could be big market for device companies
January 29, 2010 - Medical device companies could play a greater role in the depression treatment market in the US in coming years, according to a new report. About 15-20 million people in the US suffer from depression, representing a potential market valued at about $16bn, information provider Kalorama  (Requires a subscription on www.Clinica.co.uk)

Neuroengineers silence brain cells with multiple colors of light
New tools show potential for treating brain disorders
January 6, 2010 - Neuroscientists at MIT have developed a powerful new class of tools to reversibly shut down brain activity using different colors of light. When targeted to specific neurons, these tools could potentially lead to new treatments for the abnormal brain activity associated with disorders such as chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease. (MIT News)

Pivotal Study Of Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy Shows Long-Term Reduction In Seizure Rate In Patients With Severe Epilepsy
December 09, 2009 - Long-term data from an investigational study of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Epilepsy was released this week by Medtronic, Inc. at the American Epilepsy Society Meeting (AES) in Boston. The results of the study show improvement over time...  (Medical News Today)

Surgeon put electrodes in my back to cure my chronic pain
April 28, 2009  - Many thousands of Britons suffer from chronic pain as a result of nerve damage. While prescription medicine works for most, others may benefit from treatment with implanted electrodes. Mark Hollingworth, 43, an IT specialist from Essex, had the operation in March. He reveals his story while his doctor explains the procedure. (Daily Mail Online U.K.)

Last Updated on Friday, February 01, 2019 02:10 PM