News Briefs from the International Neuromodulation Society

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools News Feed

Child With Respiratory Paralysis from Accident Receives Phrenic Nerve Stimulation Implant

Dec. 12, 2018 - A 7-year-old boy from Kenya who received a cervical spine injury when hit by a motor vehicle, and required mechanical ventilation, received a phrenic nerve stimulator and was weaned off the ventilator in India, allowing him to become more mobile one year after his injury. He will receive follow-up care in his own country. (Specialty Medical Dialogues)

Patient Gives Television Interview about Her Neurostimulation Device for Epilepsy

Dec. 10, 2018 - A local television news segment in Arkansas features a young woman with epilepsy who received a vagus nerve stimulation system. (KARK)

Scientists Investigate Meditation-Induced Modulation of Brain Response to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

November - December - Scientists who study coma and consciousness worked with an expert meditator to study how meditation affected response of the brain to transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Brain Stimulation)

Pain Management Specialist's News Column Describes Multi-Modal Treatment, Including Neurostimulation

Dec. 9, 2018 - An interventional pain management physician wrote a column in a Pennsylvania news website that calls spinal cord stimulation an under-appreciated treatment option for certain pain conditions. (GoErie.com)

Paper Explores Impact of Neurostimulation Treatment on Early Disability Pension

Nov. 26, 2018 - Co-authors in Finland published a case-controlled study of the effect of spinal cord stimulation on early disability pension in 198 patients who have failed back surgery syndrome. (Neurosurgery)

Research Into Stroke Lesions Suggests Potential Stimulation Targets for Arousal From Coma

Dec. 6, 2018 - A researcher suggests that stimulating structures deeper than the thalamus might be better for arousing someone from a coma, after he led a study into the location of stroke lesions and consciousness in the initial hours after a stroke. (Daily Iowan)

Researchers Publish Proof-of-Concept in Investigation of Motor Cortex Stimulation from an Electrode Array in a Blood Vessel

Dec. 4, 2018 - Collaborators in Australia published a preclinical proof-of-concept study in Nature Biomedical Engineering in which an electrode array mounted on an endovascular stent was used to stimulate cortical tissue, in sheep, from within a blood vessel. The focal motor-cortex stimulation is being investigated as a potential future treatment for conditions such as epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. (The Recorder)

Neurostimulation Aids Violinist Who Has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in the Shoulder

Dec. 3, 2018 - A woman who developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) following surgery for an injury has been able to play and teach violin again after receiving a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant. She initially received an SCS implant in her lower back for leg pain in 2014 that had confined her to a wheelchair. More recently, she received a second SCS implant in her cervical spine after CRPS symptoms appeared in her shoulder following shoulder surgery. (UAMS News)

Article Surveying Migraine Treatment Includes Neurostimulation

Dec. 1, 2018 - An article about pharmaceutical migraine treatments ends by mentioning noninvasive or minimally invasive neurostimulation approaches that have become available or are under study. (Washington Post)

Brain Stimulation Target Explored for Improving Depressed Mood

Nov. 29, 2018 - Researchers published research in which they explored the lateral orbitofrontal cortex as a stimulation target to improve mood. (Science Daily)

Interest Increases in Understanding Brain Oscillations' Role and Therapeutic Potential

Nov. 29, 2018 - An article discusses emerging interest in a possible role for gamma waves in mental processing, and mentions the development of potential neurostimulation therapies based on observations of neural oscillations. (Scientific American)

Researchers Pursue an Ultrasonic Implant to Stimulate and Record Brain Activity

Nov. 29, 2018 - With a grant of nearly $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative, researchers have begun pursuing development of a wireless brain-monitoring implant. The envisioned device would rest on the surface of the brain and ultrasonically stimulate brain regions with the help of an external, wearable, unit. The ultimate goal is to record neural activity with high resolution, and possibly apply the technology to future deep-brain stimulation therapy for movement disorder, epilepsy, or other conditions. (Penn State)

Clinicians Explore Cerebellar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Patients With Post-Stroke Hemiparesis

Nov. 26, 2018 - An article in JAMA Neurology reports stimulating the cerebellum in post-stroke hemiparesis, using intermittent theta-burst magnetic stimulation in conjunction with physical therapy to improve gait and balance in patients who had ischemic stroke. (MedPage Today)

Paper Presents Six-Month Follow-up of Neurostimulation in Pain Patient with Brachial Plexus Injury

Nov. 27, 2018 - A team of co-authors in Italy report neurophysiological observations after switching from tonic to high-frequency spinal cord stimulation for six months in a pain patient who had brachial plexus root avulsion. 

Retrospective Analysis Evaluates 12-Month Pain Treatment Clinical Outcomes and Healthcare Utilization

Nov. 20, 2018 - In a retrospective analysis at a community-based pain facility, investigators evaluated clinical outcomes and healthcare utilization at 12 months post-spinal-cord-stimulator implant, compared with baseline and a matched sample of patients who received conventional medical management for low back and lower extremity pain. The analysis included tracking changing levels of opioid use. (Journal of Pain Research)

Feature Profiles a Brain-Machine Interface Researcher and a Paralyzed Patient

Nov. 26, 2018 - An article traces a years-long research project that led to two paralyzed patients controlling a robotic arm with their thoughts, using a brain-machine interface. (New Yorker)

Article Raises Awareness of Neurosurgery Advances in India

Nov. 17, 2018 - An article that gives examples of technological advances in neurosurgery in India mentions successful use earlier this year of deep brain stimulation to rouse a patient who had fallen into a coma due to hypoxic brain injury. (The Week)

Collaborators Present Their Approach to a Biofuel Cell for Microscale Biomedical Devices

Nov. 16, 2018 - Collaborators in the U.S. and Korea have demonstrated a potential future way of powering implanted medical devices. They created a biofuel cell that chemically converts glucose to electrical energy. The unit uses electrodes made of gold nanoparticles on cotton fiber, a substrate picked to enhance porosity, conductivity, and potential biocompatibility. (Endgadget)

Researchers Study Brain-Activity Response to Occipital Nerve Field Stimulation in Fibromyalgia

Nov. 12, 2018 - A research team published measurements from a positron emission tomography study in a few fibromyalgia patients who are being treated with occipital nerve field stimulation. They explored activation of pain pathways involved in descending inhibition, attention, and pain processing. (BMC Neurology)

Review Considers Heart Failure Devices that Regulate the Autonomic Nervous System

Nov. 13, 2018 - A review considered five randomized controlled trials of devices for heart failure that regulate the autonomic nervous system. (MDLinx)

Interview Traces an Evolution in Neuromodulation for Pain Relief

Nov. 8, 2018 - In an interview about the future of neuromodulation, Peter Staats, MD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, comments about the opportunity to avoid or minimize use of opioids for pain. (Pain Medicine News)

Review Considers Mechanisms of Action for Spinal Cord Stimulation

Nov. 8, 2018 - A review article proposes that the dorsal horn is a crucial site of action for spinal cord stimulation, and that dorsal islet cells may mediate its effects. (European Journal of Pain)

Clinical Trial Will Explore Neurostimulation for Amputation Pain

Nov. 8, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Erika Petersen, MD, was interviewed about a clinical trial to investigate neurostimulation for amputation pain, which is taking place at 20 U.S. centers. (Fox 16)

Researchers Publish Research Into Brain Activity Patterns Associated with Mood Changes

Nov. 8, 2018 - A study published in Cell provides data indicating brain network activity associated with mood change. (Scientific American)

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Study Explores Effect on Chronic Low Back Pain

Nov. 8, 2018 - In a randomized, crossover, double-blind, sham-controlled pilot study in the Journal of Pain, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, researchers investigated transcranial alternating current stimulation to target and enhance alpha oscillations in the somatosensory cortex of people with chronic lower back pain. (EurekAlert)

U.K. Man's Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome Improved with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Nov. 8, 2018 - A news feature describes the experience of a man who had complex post-traumatic stress syndrome for 24 years, which improved through repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Yorkshire Post)

Amputee's Prosthetic Hand Provides a Sense of Touch

Nov. 6, 2018 - An article describes the experience of the first hand amputee to receive a prosthesis that interfaces with sensory nerves to provide a sense of touch and grasp force. (FIU News)

Presentations Feature Neural Prosthetic and Rehabilitation Research

Nov. 6, 2018 - Presentations at the Society for Neuroscience dealt with neural stimulation systems for prosthetics and rehabilitation training to address blindness, amputation, stroke, and hand paralysis. (Science Daily)

Vestibular Electrical Stimulation is Being Explored to Restore Balance to Military Veterans

Nov. 5, 2018 - Researchers studying the effect of vestibular electrical stimulation on military veterans with balance deficits added an electrical noise pattern. They compared vets with healthy subjects to explore the potential therapeutic approach. (Science Daily)

Case Report Presents an Investigation of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to Arose an Unconscious Patient

Nov. 3, 2018 - Researchers in China report on trigeminal nerve stimulation to arose an unconscious patient. (Brain Stimulation)

Review Considers the State of Neuromoduation for Gastrointestinal Disorders

Nov. 2, 2018 - Australian researchers reviewed bioelectronic neuromodulation for gastrointestinal disorders, its effectiveness and mechanisms. (Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology)

Study Explores Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Decrease Chronic Pain from a Viral Infection

Oct. 30, 2018 - Scientists investigated the potential for transcranial direct current stimulation to reduce pain in patients with a chronic form of infection by the Chikungunya (CHIK) virus, a public health problem in Brazil. (Scientific Reports)

Non-invasive Neurostimulation Device Receives Marketing Approval in Canada

Oct. 29, 2018 - Health Canada has given marketing authorization for Helius Medical Technologies' portable neuromodulation stimulator as an adjunctive aspect of physical therapy for balance deficits following traumatic brain injury. The company also announced a partnership with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research for investigational use of the device at three rehabiliation treatment sites in New York. (Market Watch)

Researchers in Switzerland Report on Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation after Spinal Cord Injury

Oct. 31, 2018 - Through application of precisely timed stimulation, three men with paralysis from spinal cord injury regained some ability to take steps again, mostly with support, researchers report. After months of combined rehabilitation and epidural spinal cord stimulation, they said the men also retained some voluntary muscle control when stimulation was switched off. (Nature)

Article Surveys Advances in Neurostimulation Therapy for Chronic Pain

Oct. 24, 2018 - An article provides an overview of several different options or advances among implantable or minimally invasive neurostimulation devices for chronic pain, including their potential mechanisms. (Current Anesthesiology Reports)

Collaborators Research and Model Potential Temperature Effects of Stimulation Leads

Oct. 10, 2018 - Bench-top experiments and statistical modeling of stimulation at several frequencies predict temperature changes that may inform choices for stimulation strategies and lead position.

Case series: Early Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Children with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

November 2018 - In a review of 45 consecutive cases of children being implanted before the age of five (14) or after (31), with a mean follow-up of about five years, authors found early implantation led to improved cognition and quality of life. They saw no differences in seizure reduction rates or reduction of antiepileptic drugs between the two groups. (Epilepsy & Behavior)

Waiting Patients Seek Increased Access to Deep Brain Stimulation in British Columbia

Oct. 29, 2018 - Access to deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery in British Columbia came up during a question period in the provincial legislature. An article about patients with Parkinson's disease describes how one who received it enjoys its benefits, while others who have been waiting up to three years worry their progressive disease will worsen until their therapeutic window of opportunity has closed. The provincial health minister said the number of scheduled interventions has increased from 23 to 36 this year. He added that the health authorities are working to set up the infrastructure for a second surgeon to start performing the procedure. (CBC)

Laboratory Project Demonstrates Converting Fiber Optics to Electrical Signal to Stimulate Neurons

Oct. 25, 2018 - In a published study, scientists demonstrated converting a light pulse delivered by an optical fiber to an electrical signal to stimulate neurons in acute hippocampal brain slices of a mouse or rat. They say a potential therapeutic advantage is that the neurons do not need genetic modification, as is required in optogenetics, to respond to the stimulus. (Photonics)

In a Small Study, Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Lupus Pain

Oct. 20, 2018 - A sham-controlled safety and efficacy study of 12 lupus patients found that four daily sessions of vagus nerve stimulation delivered through the ear, using a proprietary external device, led to reduced pain scores after five days and 12 days. The results will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Professionals annual meeting. (EurekAlert)

Study: Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Improved Response to Threat in Individuals with Anxiety

Oct. 17, 2018 - In a small randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 16 women with anxiety, a single session of transcranial direct current stimulation to the prefrontal cortex improved control of limbic threat reactivity, suggesting a mechanism that may underlie noninvasive brain stimulation for affective disorders. The stimulation reduced amygdala fear signaling and increased frontoparietal attentional control, thereby reducing attentional capture by threat. (JAMA Psychiatry)

U.S. Department of Defense Gives $1.3 Million Research Grant to Study Neurostimulation to Minimize Ischemic Damage after Traumatic Brain Injury

Oct. 16, 2018 - A researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has received $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense's "Foundational Research for Autonomous, Unmanned, and Robotics Development of Medical Technologies (FORwARD)" program for research into trigeminal nerve stimulation to increase cerebral blood flow and cerebrovasodilation to minimize "secondary injury" from ischemia and hypoxia following traumatic brain injury, as explained in a 2017 paper. (NewsDay)

Presentation: Improvements Seen After Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Oct. 15, 2018 - Data presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists regarding 67 patients with chronic back and leg pain noted clinical improvements after dorsal root ganglion stimulation. The patients were followed for up to 18 months. (Healio)

First UK Patient Receives Neurostimulation Implant in Clinical Trial of Heart Failure Device

Oct. 13, 2018 - An article describes the first UK patient to receive a neuromodulation implant that addresses heart failure, through an international clinical trial. The implant stimulates baroreceptors that regulate blood pressure. (Daily Mail)

Project Seeks to Develop an Adaptive Brain-Stimulation System for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 8, 2018 - Baylor College of Medicine is seeking research participants for an 18-month research study to classify symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder and other mood states to develop an adaptive deep brain stimulation to treat the condition. (Baylor College of Medicine)

Article Describes Cluster Headache Patient in the United Kingdom Receiving a Neurostimulation Device Designed for Occipital Nerve Stimulation

Oct. 8, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashish Gulve, MD, was quoted in an article in which his patient describes receiving occipital nerve stimulation in the UK for chronic cluster headache. He used a device that targets stimulation therapy to branches of the occipital nerve, the trigeminocervical complex. (Daily Mail)

Project Pursues an Electrical Stimulation System for Use after CNS Injury

Oct. 5, 2018 - A research project aims to develop an electrical stimulation system to use during the first two weeks or so following central nervous system injury, to enhance activity-dependent plasticity. The intent is to improve functional recovery in a relatively inexpensive fashion that could be adapted following spine injury or stroke. The project at Loyola University in Illinois is being supported by a $500,000 charitable grant. (EurekAlert)

Proposed Insurance Changes in Australia Raise Concerns about Access to Neuromodulation Therapy

Oct. 1, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Marc Russo, MD, was quoted in news coverage about a proposed change to private insurance in Australia that would limit access to medical device implants for pain to only the highest level of coverage. (The World Today)

Reviewers Publish Guidance on Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Sept. 24, 2018 - In a review article, the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee issued guidance about the use of dorsal root ganglion stimulation, an evolving method, for chronic neuropathic pain. The committee's review covers indications, such as CRPS or groin pain, and unique considerations for lead placement and programming. An accompanying chart shows suggested levels for stimulation, based on the pain location. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Paralyzed Patient Stands Alone and Takes Steps after Rehabilitation with Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 24, 2018 - Nature Medicine reported how a spinal cord injury patient was able to stand and walk with assistance during a year-long course of rehabilitation augmented by epidural spinal cord stimulation. Mentioning this work in the U.S., an article in Australia discusses hope for similar programs to start there next year. (Science Daily)

Medical Center's New $20 Million Grant Will Help Fund Research Into Brain Stimulation to Treat Depression

Sept. 18, 2018 - The University of California, San Francisco has received a $20 million grant from the family of audio pioneer Ray Dolby. With this funding, the medical center will seek to start a brain-stimulation clinical trial in 2019. Using a network of electrodes on the surface of the brain, the study will investigate identifying and targeting dysfunctional brain circuits to treat depression. (The Mercury News)

Report: Epidural Spine Stimulation Improved Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Regulation in Spine Injury Patients

Sept. 17, 2018 - Research at the University of Louisville's Kentucky Spinal Cord injury Research Center, published in JAMA Neurology, described improvements four spine-injured patients experienced in blood pressure and heart rate regulation, after receiving spinal cord epidural stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Scientists Elucidate a Pain Circuit That Might Be a Therapeutic Target

Sept. 12, 2018 - In research that might eventually help to better target pain therapies such as spinal cord stimulation, scientists showed that particular cortical neurons in a mouse brain were responsible for amplifying painful sensations that are elicited by touch. The scientists think the feedback circuit formed by these neurons, which send projections to the dorsal horn, might be a target for treating the tactile component of neuropathic pain. (EurekAlert)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Therapy Will Come to Zimbabwe

Sept. 12, 2018 - An article says repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy will be available at a private clinic in Zimbabwe by the end of the year. (Zimbabwe Daily)

Study Adds Evidence for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Address Drug Withdrawal

Sept. 12, 2018 - A sham-controlled study of transcranial magnetic stimulation in 48 men with methamphetamine addiction showed that 10 sessions of stimulation to the left dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex curbed withdrawal symptoms, such as craving, anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties. (Healio)

Researchers Show Dopamine Sensors Function Over One Year in Laboratory Animals

Sept. 12, 2018 - Scientists report they have been able to use implanted electrodes to record dopamine levels for more than a year in the brains of laboratory rats. The implants, measuring 10 microns across, did not have evidence of surrounding tissue changes indicative of an immune reaction. (MIT News)

Family Shares Their Experience Treating Genetic Disorder with Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 12, 2018 - An article about a young woman with a genetic condition, Kleefstra syndrome, describes her experience managing some of its behavioral issues, such as tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior, with deep brain stimulation. (Spectrum)

Study Finds Improvements in Restless Leg Syndrome in Parkinson's Patients Who Have Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

Sept. 10, 2018 - A retrospective study of 22 patients with Parkinson's disease, who received subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation surgery, showed improvements in symptoms of restless leg syndrome regardless of changes in their Parkinson's disease motor symptoms or medications. (Neurology Advisor)

Study Examines Differences in Response to Spinal Cord Stimulation in Smokers and Non-Smokers

Sept. 5, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nagy Mekhail, MD, and colleagues published findings that among 213 pain patients, 12 months after receiving a spinal cord stimulator, smokers had higher pain scores than non-smokers or former smokers, and higher opioid pain medication use. The authors undertook the retrospective cohort study based on the hypothesis that smoking diminishes the analgesic response to spinal cord stimulation. (Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine)

Study Demonstrates Feasibility of Decoding Mood Variations from Neural Activity

Sept. 10, 2018 - Collaborators have published results of a feasibility study of mood state decoding. The researchers used data from seven patients who were undergoing brain-activity monitoring for epilepsy. They demonstrated that mood state variations can be decoded over time from neural activity. (EurekAlert)

Pilot Study Finds Evidence for Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation to Improve Female Sexual Dysfunction

Sept. 5, 2018 - Researchers published findings that nerve stimulation treatment used to treat bladder dysfunction might improve sexual function among women. After tests in rats showed increased blood flow from transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in the genital region or ankle, the researchers recruited nine women with sexual dysfunction, who received 12 sessions of TENS. Eight of the women reported improvements that were as good, or better, than prior studies of different types of drugs or neuromodulation for the condition. (UPI.com)

Study Evaluates Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Over 12 Months

Aug. 31, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Frank Huygen, MD, PhD, and colleagues have published results of dorsal root ganglion stimulation in patients who were followed for 12 months. The study, which appears in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, enrolled 66 patients at three centers in 2012 - 2013. Permanent implants were placed in 56 of the patients, who had a variety of pain diagnoses. After 12 months, 82% of the patients achieved at least a 30% reduction in pain scores, with 49% experiencing a reduction of 50% or more. The authors noted the patients had increases in functional capacity, mood, and quality of life. (NeuroNews)

Pilot Study: Development of Tremor Slowed in Parkinson's Disease Patients Who Received Early-Stage Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, was quoted in an article about an analysis of data from a pilot clinical study of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early-stage Parkinson's disease. The analysis, published in Neurology, indicates tremor progression slowed during two years of follow-up in the patients who received DBS. A phase III clinical study, in up to 280 patients at 18 centers, has received FDA approval. (The Tennessean)

Study Finds Evidence for Intrathecal Baclofen in Patients with Severe Post-Stroke Spasticity

Aug. 27, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Creamer, DO, and colleagues have published results of secondary outcome measures from the Spasticity In Stroke–Randomized Study (SISTERS) that compared patients with severe post-stroke spasticity who received either intrathecal baclofen (ITB) or conventional medical management. The phase 4 study included 60 patients at centers in Europe and the U.S. The authors concluded that the patients who received ITB therapy had comparative improvements in pain and quality of life. (Stroke)

Researchers Identify Conditions for Re-Growth of Axons in Spine-Injured Laboratory Animals

Aug. 29, 2018 - Researchers have demonstrated re-growth of axons across a complete spinal cord injury in mice and rats. The new pathways exhibited some ability to conduct electrical activity upon stimulation. The research was published in Nature magazine. (R&D Magazine)

Review Assesses Cervical Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Primary Headache Disorders

Aug. 27, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Kinfe, MD, PhD, and colleagues have published a review that evaluates invasive and noninvasive stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagal nerve for episodic or chronic migraine and cluster headache. They conclude that response to noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation seemed most favorable in episodic headache subtypes. (Dove Press)

Study: Vagus Nerve Stimulation Led to Improved Quality of Life Scores for Patients with Depression

Aug. 27, 2018 - A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry compared 328 patients with depression who had implanted vagus nerve stimulators, and 271 patients who only received treatment as usual. The patients who received vagus nerve stimulation had significant gains in quality of life, such as mood, ability to work, social relationships, family relationships and leisure activities. (China.org.cn)

Article Heightens Awareness of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 25, 2018 - An article about spinal cord stimulation says Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust is gathering new data to be presented later this year. International Neuromodulation Society member Ganesan Baranidharan, MBBS FRCA FCARCSI, was quoted as describing how life-altering the treatment can be. (Daily Mail)

Project to Reconnect Nerves following Spinal Cord Injury Receives $3.5 Million European Research Grant

Aug. 24, 2018 - The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies program has granted $3.5 million over four years for a prototype ByAxon device to bridge a spinal cord injury, and reconnect nerves on either side. The ByAxon project began in 2017 in an interdisciplinary consortium of research institutions from Spain, France, Italy and Germany. (Healthcare IT)

Researchers Use Laboratory-Cultured Neural Tissue to Study Potential Electrical Stimulation Effects Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Aug. 23, 2018 - Researchers at the University of Georgia have replicated the effects of traumatic brain injury and recovery in stem-cell-derived neurons, using glutamate and electrical stimulation. In a concussion-like effect, glutamate disrupted synchronous activity of the cultured neural tissue. Then, dozens of miniature electrodes arrayed on the laboratory culture dish were used to stimulate recovery. The observations may help the researchers devise ways to guide stimulatory patterns -- at multiple levels of individual neurons, neural tissue, and the brain -- to ultimately develop wearable therapeutic stimulation devices. (Science Daily)

Review Summarizes First-line Options for Intrathecal Therapy for Chronic Pain

Aug. 22, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD; Jason Pope, MD; Michael Hanes, MD; and Gladstone McDowell, II, MD have published a review of first-line medication options for intrathecal therapy for chronic pain. The article summarizes recommendations of the 2016 Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference (PACC), and draws upon more than 100 published studies regarding non-cancer pain and cancer pain. In conclusion, the authors reiterate PACC guidelines that recommend morphine and ziconotide as first-line monotherapy for cancer-related and non–cancer-related pain. (Pain Medicine)

Non-Invasive Stimulation Helped Spine-Injury Patients Improve Bladder Control

Aug. 22, 2018 - Investigators report in Scientific Reports a double-blinded, crossover study in which five spinal-cord injury patients improved bladder control after four months of weekly transcutaneous magnetic stimulation sessions to the lower spine, administered at 1 Hz using a device that is normally used for transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment. The researchers said the benefit lasted up to two weeks post-stimulation. The stimulation targeted the T12-L1 level of the spine, over the conus medullaris. (Health Day)

Study: Non-invasive Neurostimulation Improved Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Ataxias

Aug. 22, 2018 - Researchers report in Neurology a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled crossover trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (tDCS) in 20 patients with neurodegenerative ataxias. The patients' symptoms improved for up to three months after receiving tDCS for five days a week for two weeks. (EurekAlert)

Researchers Investigate Non-invasive Stimulation in Speech Therapy for Post-Stroke Aphasia

Aug. 20, 2018 - A double-blind randomized clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke patients with aphasia showed that combining the treatment with speech therapy nearly doubled the number of words patients were able to name correctly, compared to sham; 13.9 words for the group that received stimulation vs. 8.3 words for the sham treatment group. The researchers plan a larger trial and plan to publish a follow-up paper about genetic differences related to tDCS response. (MedPage Today)

Article Describes Planned Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Gastric Disorders

Aug. 20, 2018 - A sham-controlled clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital will involve a single session of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation of a branch of the vagus nerve on the earlobe. The study participants will have MRI brain scans and tests of electrical activity in the gut after having eaten a meal to assess effects of the stimulation. The study will investigate effects on gastroparesis and indigestion in 50 patients. (Daily Mail)

Laboratory Project Would Demonstrate a Nervous System Implant that Combines Electrical, Chemical, Thermal, and Optical Functionalities

July 31, 2018 - A five-year, 1.5 million Euro project to develop neuroprosthetic implants for the brain with electrical, chemical, thermal and optical modes has been approved by the European Research Council at the Dresden University of Technology. The project, known as Integrated Implant Technology for Multimodal Brain Interfaces (IntegraBrain), will begin with demonstration in rats of a cortical interface to control focal seizures, and a peripheral nerve interface to control visceral function. (TU Dresden)

Manitoba Clinic Seeks Participants for Study of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression

Aug. 8, 2018 - A Manitoba, Canada clinic will participate in a clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in treatment-resistant depression. The article states that although the provinces of Quebec and Saskatchewan cover rTMS for mood disorders, Manitoba Health decided against covering it in 2016. The clinic opened in 2012 and has a six-month waiting list. Its management has been fundraising and applying for grants to help cover costs for patients who cannot afford to pay for the treatment. (CBC)

Paper Presents Data on the Use of Deep Brain Stimulation in Meige Syndrome

Aug. 7, 2018 - In a two-patient case study of deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus interna to address disabling muscle contractions of Meige syndrome, the authors in the U.K. and Portugal included a literature review of 82 cases, with pooled data showing a 60% improvement at a mean follow-up of about five years. The two patients in the case study were followed for two years, and improved motor symptoms of their craniocervical dystonia. (Neurology Advisor)

Large Dataset Analysis: From 57 - 72% Success for Sacral Nerve Stimulation Trials

Aug. 5, 2018 - An analysis of 1,396 patients who were trialed for a sacral nerve stimulation system from 2005 - 2011 in California found trial success rates of 72% for overactive bladder, 69% for urgency/frequency, 68% for interstitial cystitis, 67% for neurogenic bladder, and 57% for urinary retention. The analysis used non-public data from the California Office of Statewide Planning and Development's ambulatory surgery database. The article noted that although the rates were less than at some academic centers, they were better than previously reported tor Medicare beneficiaries. (Uro Today)

Percutaneous Neurostimulation Model for Overactive Bladder Investigates Activation of Saphenous Nerve  

Aug. 4, 2018 - Researchers explored the extent to which percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation co-activates the adjacent saphenous nerve, which animal studies indicate can evoke a bladder-inhibitory reflex. In their finite element model, they determined the electrode location and stimulation amplitude were important variables. (Uro Today)

Panel Evaluates Appropriateness of Treatment Options for Persistent Pain After Surgery

July 25, 2018 - Eight members of the International Neuromodulation Society are among the 19 neurosurgeons, pain specialists, and orthopedic surgeons who assessed appropriateness of four treatment options for 210 clinical scenarios of persistent pain after back surgery. The four treatment options were conservative, minimally invasive, neurostimulation, and re-operation. Neurostimulation was considered appropriate for predominant neuropathic leg pain in the absence of conditions that may require surgical intervention. (European Spine Journal)

Retrospective Analysis Evaluates Factors Affecting Success of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Trials

Aug. 7, 2018 - In a physician-initiated analysis, 14 members of the International Neuromodulation Society looked for factors affecting the success of trialing dorsal root ganglion stimulation in 217 chronic pain patients in the U.S. Roughly half the patients (104) had a diagnosis other than complex regional pain syndrome. The authors found the treatment is most effective in focal neuropathic pain, especially in the distribution of a specific peripheral nerve. The most significant determinant of response was paresthesia coverage. For that reason, the authors recommend using at least two leads for the area being treated. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study: Three-dimensional Target Mapping Aided Brain Stimulation Efficacy

Aug. 3, 2018 - Three-dimensional subthalamic nucleus mapping led to better 12-month outcomes in Parkinson's disease patients who underwent deep brain stimulation surgery, according to a randomized controlled study of 76 patients in Oslo. The cohort who had multiple microelectrode recordings to optimize lead placement did better than the control group whose target stimulation was guided by single sequential microelectrodes. (Neurology Advisor)

Case Series: Pelvic Pain Patients Responded to Novel Neurostimulation Configuration

Aug. 1, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Corey Hunter, MD, and Ajax Yang, MD, published a case series in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface concerning seven patients with chronic pelvic pain who were successfully trialed with neurostimulation leads placed over the bilateral L1 and S2 dorsal root ganglia. The patients' conditions had been resistant to conventional treatment, the the lead configuration was intended to cover the upper and lower part of the painful pelvic area. The report says that so far, four of the patients received implants between 3 - 12 months ago, and continue to experience pain relief, treatment satisfaction, and functional improvement. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Paper Presents Hypothesis for Pathophysiology of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Suggests Investigating Immunomodulatory Interventions

July 27, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Marc Russo, MBBS DA(UK)FANZCA, FFPMFANZCA, and Peter Georgius, MBBS, FFPMANZCA, FAFRM, have published an open-access paper in Medical Hypotheses with Danielle Santarelli, PhD, with a hypothesis for the pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). They say CRPS might best be considered a dynamic, multi-component disease with immune-neurological elements. They suspect an underlying factor could be activation and subsequent overactivity of dendritic cells, which are responsible for immunosurveillance. They present four components whose extent and impact likely varies from patient to patient: tissue trauma, abnormal pain processing, autonomic dysregulation, and immune system alteration. They conclude that a new research area to explore could be inhibition of inflammatory dendritic cell activation, such as through administering immunomodulatory drugs, or possibly, vagus nerve stimulation. (Medical Hypotheses)

Winner Announced for 2018 Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation

Aug. 2, 2018 - The winner and finalist for the Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation have been announced. The winner receives $25,000. Both the winner and finalist have the essays they submitted for the competition published in Science magazine. Nir Grossman, PhD, of the Imperial College London, is the 2018 winner. His essay described research into non-invasively stimulating subcortical brain structures through applying multiple electric fields at slightly different frequencies within the kHz range. This creates temporal interference that allows a stimulating field to penetrate more deeply. The stimulation location can be guided by altering the relative amplitude and orientation of the applied field. Having demonstrated the work in mice, he said deep brain stimulation is more narrowly localized, and suggested that a subdural version of the new approach might be considered. The finalist, Aryn Gittis, PhD, of Carnegie Mellon University, wrote an essay about potentially being able to repair neural circuit dysfunction, as suggested by optogenetic experiments in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease, through stimulation of a subset of neurons in the external globus pallidus. (EurekAlert)

Stimulation Method Aims to Modify Underlying Disease

July 25, 2018 - A news feature says bioelectronic medicine is intended to modify underlying disease through brief daily stimulation of a few minutes or less. The article explains the emerging field is being initially explored to address inflammatory, metabolic, and endocrine disorders. (MD+DI)

Parkinson's Disease Patient with Neuropathy Reduces Reliance on Pain Medication After Spinal Cord Stimulation, Improves Mobility

July 26, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Frank McDonnell, MD was quoted in a news segment about a Parkinson's disease patient with peripheral neuropathy who reduced his need for opioids and pain medication through use of a spinal cord stimulator that also improved the tremor from his movement disorder. The patient said he could resume activities he used to enjoy and get around again without relying on a walker. (www.14news.com)

Project Endeavors to Create a Brain-Stimulation Helmet

July 24, 2018 - The Xinhua news agency reported that scientists and engineers in Shenzhen are working on a brain-stimulation helmet to enhance brain function, emotional regulation, and memory through brain stimulation. The device monitors brainwaves and provides cortical stimulation, and eventually, may provide deeper stimulation. The article says a prototype device that incorporates artificial intelligence technology has been demonstrated to enhance performance on a memory task by volunteers. (Health Thoroughfare)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Aided Memory Performance

July 23, 2018 - In a sham-controlled study,16 people trained to detect targets in complex visual scenes performed better on a related task the next day after receiving brain stimulation during sleep that matched slow-wave oscillations dominant at that time. The stimulation was delivered through a closed-loop transcranial alternating current system. Results of the study appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience. (EurekAlert)

Wireless Stimulation Used for Laboratory Nerve-Regrowth Project

July 23, 2018 - In research with potential implications for application in people, scientists report on an approach to use stimulation for regrowth of an injured peripheral nerve. They demonstrated regrowth of a severed sciatic nerve in rats that had received a bioadhesive cuff over the injury containing a gold band. The band acted as an antenna when the rats were exposed weekly, for three months, to a magnetic field from a transcranial magnetic stimulator. The combination of a regrowth scaffold and the wireless stimulation were credited with contributing to the recovery. Typically, axon regeneration is minimal following peripheral nerve injury. (Technology Review)

Scientists Explore Modulation of Brain's Reward Circuitry and Anti-Tumor Immune Response in Mice

July 18, 2018 - Nature Communications reported stimulation of the ventral tegmental area, part of the brain's reward system, in mice led to reduction in the size and weight of tumors. The authors point out the brain circuit activated by the stimulation affects immunity, saying the stimulation apparently modulated an anti-tumor immune response. The stimulation was carried out using modified cell-surface receptors and a targeted stimulatory ligand. The researchers have begun a collaboration in Tel Aviv to see if immune effects can be triggered in humans by directly stimulating the reward circuit, according to Scientific American. (Newsweek)

Review Examines Five Decades of Research on Supraspinal Mechanisms in Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain

July 17, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Eellan Sivanesan, MD; Bent Linderoth, MD, PhD; Yup Guan, MD, PhD; and colleagues have published a review of supra spinal mechanisms in spinal cord stimulation based on clinical and preclinical studies concerning chronic pain treatment. (Anesthesiology)

Analysis: Equivalent Outcomes for Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation With, or Without, Paresthesia

July 18, 2018 - A subgroup analysis of 61 patients with complex regional pain syndrome who received dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation demonstrated that the patients with no paresthesia generally reported equivalent or better outcomes compared to the 41 who experienced paresthesia. The data were gathered during the multicenter controlled randomized ACCURATE study that compared DRG stimulation with spinal cord stimulation. The results were presented in a poster at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Pain Medicine News)

Research Program Would Broaden Application of Neural Interfaces to Able-Bodied Service Members

July 17, 2018 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will be selecting teams for its Next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology, or N3, program to develop neural interfaces for members of the military to enable neural recording and stimulation for applications meant for able-bodied war fighters. (Nextgov)

Article: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve May Address Memory, Behavior Issues in Dementia

July 17, 2018 - An article summarizes research into the possibility that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) of the vagus nerve may help improve memory or behavior in dementia. (Newsmedical.net)

Anorexia Nervosa Patients in Spain Offered Deep Brain Stimulation

July 12, 2018 - An article says that doctors in Spain are believed to be the first in Europe to use brain stimulation implants to treat anorexia nervosa. According to news reports, three of the four patients who were treated saw improvements in their symptoms. (Newsweek)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Helps Spine-Injured Woman Regain Some Mobility and Function

July 11, 2018 - A young woman from Colombia whose lower back was broken 10 years ago is regaining some function in her legs and bladder after receiving a bilateral sacral nerve stimulation implant last year. Her Los Angeles-based surgeon first encountered her as a visiting professor in Bogotá. He believes she will make further progress beyond her current new ability to now stand and walk for 10 minutes at a time, with the help of leg braces. (UCLA)

Autism Study Compares Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Targets

July 10, 2018 - Australian researchers have begun a clinical trial of theta-burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in 14-30 year-olds with autism spectrum disorder. The study compares stimulation at the right temporoparietal junction and the bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, which the research team previously showed improved social relating. Up to 20 participants will be followed for 12 months. (Deakin University)

Collaborators Demonstrate Recording Brain's Response to Electrical Simulation

July 6, 2018  - Researchers demonstrated a proof-of-concept system that was created through a collaboration to record the brain's response to electrical stimulation.(IEEE Spectrum)

Woman is Reportedly the First in Her State in India to Receive a Spinal Cord Stimulator for Chronic Pain

July 4, 2018 - A 59-year-old woman with postherpetic neuralgia affecting her chest is said to be the first patient in the Indian state of Kerala to be implanted with a spinal cord stimulator to manage her chronic pain. (New Indian Express)

Compound Might Enable Therapeutic Neuromodulation Through Magnetomechanical Stimulation

June 27, 2018 - Researchers have reported in Advanced Materials creation and neural testing of a 3D magnetic hyaluronic hydrogel they say can be developed as a biomaterial to provide remote neuromodulation via magnetomechanical stimulation. (Science Translational Medicine)

Retrospective Study: Evidence for Spinal Cord Stimulation to Relieve Low Back Pain from Degenerative Disk Disease

July 6, 2018 - An article summarizes a retrospective study by International Neuromodulation Society member Stephen Pyles, MD, and colleagues. In it, 45 patients with horizontal low back pain and lumbar degenerative disk disease were followed for one year after receiving spinal cord stimulator implants. A significant fraction of the patients experienced pain reduction. The researchers reported that stimulation at T7 worked well 87% of the time, and leads were moved up or down if that location was ineffective. For the first 24 hours, the patients received conventional stimulation that evoked paresthesias. For the second 24 hours, they received subthreshold stimulation. On the third day, they were allowed to select which stimulation program they preferred. (Pain Medicine News)

Study: Brain Stimulation Study Showed Change in Aggressive Intent

July 2, 2018 - Researchers published a double-blind, randomized controlled study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which volunteers who received active transcranial direct current stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were less likely to express aggressive intent than volunteers who received a sham treatment. (Washington Post)

Study: Early Deep Brain Stimulation May Slow Progression of Tremor in Parkinson's Disease

June 30, 2018 - Deep brain stimulation (DBS) may slow development of tremor, according to a post-hoc analysis in a study that compared optimal medical therapy alone with optimal medical therapy plus DBS in patients with early Parkinson's disease. The study began at Vanderbilt University in 2006 with a total of 28 patients. The analysis appeared in early view in the journal Neurology. Following these findings, starting in 2019, Vanderbilt will lead an FDA-approved, Phase III multicenter study that will enroll up to 280 people with very early Parkinson's disease. (News-Medical.net)

Review Considers Investigations of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Treat Chronic Pain

June 26, 2018 - A literature review summarizes evidence of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation for treating chronic pain. The authors consider stimulation parameters, combination therapies, and selection of research participants. (The Journal of ECT)

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial May Be Unnecessary for Certain Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Patients

August 2018 - Clinicians in Brazil published data about 33 spinal cord stimulation recipients who had unequivocal diagnoses of complex regional pain syndrome type 1. They say the data from this group, who were among 160 patients implanted with spinal cord stimulators from 2011 - mid 2017, suggest that a trial phase may be unnecessary in this subgroup of patients. They add that the patients received a constant current implant and that intraoperative testing was used to determine the precise location of the implant. (Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery)

10-Year Followup Found Lower Risk of Psychosis or Falls in Parkinson's Disease Patients Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

June 21, 2018 - Deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nucleus was associated with fewer falls and less psychosis during 10 years of followup, compared to controls, according to results presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology 2018 meeting. The results were based on 53 patients who received DBS and 52 patients who did not. Over time, 25% of the DBS patients and 52% of patients in the control group developed hallucinations or delusions. In both groups, nearly three-fourths had recurrent falls, but the DBS group had fewer falls overall. (Medscape)

Television Segment Portrays Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Chronic Extremity Pain

June 20, 2018 - A television segment features a woman with chronic foot pain who received a dorsal root ganglion stimulator through the UK National Health Service. In the segment, she is shown just before and during the procedure, and then walking unaided soon after recovery. (BBC)

Newspaper Reports First Colorectal Patients to Receive Sacral Nerve Stimulators in Dubai

June 21, 2018 - Two patients in Dubai received sacral nerve stimulation systems for colorectal problems. An article says their hospital is the first in the emirate to perform these implants for fecal incontinence and chronic constipation. (Gulf Today)

Scholarship Winner Works on Flexible Spinal Cord Stimulation Arrays

June 21, 2018 - An undergraduate university student in Texas who is working on neuromodulation projects was featured in an article about scholarship recipients. One project is for a spinal cord stimulator array that is stiff at room temperature, but softens and becomes more flexible after implantation. She will spend the summer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne on a project to to augment recovery after spinal cord injury. (University of Texas at Dallas)

Engineers Use Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation to Add Sensations to Prosthetic Hand

June 20, 2018 - An article in Science Robotics describes how a research team added a sense of touch to a prosthetic hand by electrically stimulating peripheral nerves in a volunteer amputee's arm in a pattern that replicated behavior of mechanoreceptors and nociceptors, in response to tactile qualities detected by the surface of the prosthesis, such as sharp edges. The volunteer said the sensations felt like they were coming from a phantom hand. (Gizmodo)

Doctoral Student Develops New Targeting System for Deep Brain Stimulation

June 20, 2018 - A PhD candidate in the Netherlands has created an apparatus for targeting deep brain stimulation that is anticipated to be faster to use, and to aid surgical accuracy. (Medical Xpress)

Researchers: Brain-Computer Interface Aided Motor Recovery from Stroke

June 20, 2018 - Researchers in Switzerland report in Nature Communications that stroke survivors with partial arm paralysis made more progress when functional electrical stimulation of their affected hand was timed to coincide with their intent to move as detected by a brain-computer interface (BCI), compared to a control group that received hand-muscle stimulation that was not timed to coincide with the detectable brain activity. Overall 27 patients participated. Significant improvement was seen in the group that had BCI-directed stimulation after 10 hour-long sessions. The authors report that in the BCI-directed group, EEGs showed increased connections in the motor cortex of the damaged brain hemisphere, noting that at a six-month followup, the functional improvement continued. (EurekAlert)

Researchers: Brain-Computer Interface Aided Motor Recovery from Stroke

June 20, 2018 - Researchers in Switzerland report in Nature Communications that stroke survivors with partial arm paralysis made more progress when functional electrical stimulation of their affected hand was timed to coincide with their intent to move as detected by a brain-computer interface (BCI), compared to a control group that received hand-muscle stimulation that was not timed to coincide with the detectable brain activity. Overall 27 patients participated. Significant improvement was seen in the group that had BCI-directed stimulation after 10 hour-long sessions. The authors report that in the BCI-directed group, EEGs showed increased connections in the motor cortex of the damaged brain hemisphere, noting that at a six-month followup, the functional improvement continued. (EurekAlert)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation to the Fornix Appears to Slow Progression of Mild Alzheimer's Disease in Older Patients

June 19, 2018 - In a Phase II clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the fornix for mild Alzheimer's disease, an analysis shows that patients over age 65 benefited the most by appearing to have a slower progression of the disease. In the study, 42 patients were implanted, and after a 12-month randomization period in which half the patients did not receive simulation, all the patients had their electrodes turned on and were followed for another 12 months. (Medical Xpress)

Findings Suggest Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation May Help Improve Disorders of Consciousness

June 18, 2018 - Disorders of consciousness might be improved by non-invasive brain stimulation, suggests an expert who spoke at the 4th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Lisbon. In a study, his research group found the extent of impairment fluctuated when they scored coma ratings four times a day. They saw improvements after a session of transcranial direct current stimulation, with improvement lasting up to a week after five consecutive daily stimulation sessions. (News-Medical.net)

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Study Aims to Improve Stroke Recovery

June 18, 2018 - A research team at Murdoch University are looking for 10 stroke survivors for a study of non-invasive brain stimulation to help improve balance, reaching and grasping. (Melville Times)

UK Boy with Epilepsy Receives a Newly Approved Vagus Nerve Stimulation System that Detects Seizure Onset

June 17, 2018 - A 9-year-old boy in England became the first patient in Europe to receive a vagus nerve stimulation system that detects the onset of epileptic seizures. The National Health Service provided the device after CE mark was granted in April. The patient was born with a rare brain malformation, lissencephaly, which causes his seizures and made him ineligible for brain surgery. (Daily Mail)

Engineers Work on Potential Ultrasound Neurostimulation Device

June 15, 2018 - Researchers at Stanford University are working on an implanted stimulator that would be powered and programmed with ultrasound. The concept consists of a body-worn ultrasound transmitter to power a deeply implanted piezoelectric receiver, which converts ultrasound energy to electricity. The design has a capacitor for storing electricity, two stimulating electrodes, an LED, and custom circuitry. The implant would not only be powered by converting ultrasound energy, but also programmable through amplitude modulation of the ultrasound waveform. (PC Magazine)

Patient Describes Participating in Vagus Nerve Stimulation Study for Crohn's Disease

June 14, 2018 - An article about SetPoint Medical's small clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation for Crohn's disease features an interview with a patient who has seen a reduction in symptoms. The patient from New Jersey spoke at a bioelectronic medicine conference in Stockholm, hosted by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Karolinska Institutet. Preliminary results of the 16-person study were presented in a poster at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Washington, D.C. earlier in the week. (IEEE Spectrum)

Article Describes Percutaneous Direct Current Treatment of Injuries and Severe Cluster Headache

June 14, 2018 - A case series of cluster headache, a torn quadriceps muscle, and stained ankle with ruptured ligament were reported in a journal article about translating the electrical signals that stimulate wound healing into a direct current stimulation applied to percutaneous metal probes, which the authors claim provided an effective treatment. (Medical Devices: Evidence and Research)

Wait Times Questioned for Deep Brain Stimulation in British Columbia

June 13, 2018 - An article about a Parkinson's disease patient in the Vancouver area who may have a roughly two-year wait for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery describes her efforts to encourage the provincial government to fund an additional operating room to cut waiting times. While she fears missing her therapeutic window, she would like to see access improved for all the patients in her province. International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, PhD comments in the article that he has trained another neurosurgeon but they need a second operating room so more procedures can be scheduled. The article says that while the average for DBS surgery is one surgeon per two million people, in their province of British Columbia, the rate is one surgeon per 4.5 million people. The journalist has also written a column encouraging others to join the letter-writing campaign. (Abbotsford News)

Column Envisions Continued Development of Closed-Loop Neurostimulation to Treat Additional Conditions

June 11, 2018 - A guest column from research leaders at Battelle describes required elements of closed-loop neurostimulation systems, and acknowledges existing commercial closed-loop devices by Saluda and Neuropace. The authors anticipate that "as more is learned about how the nervous system regulates body systems, the potential applications for bioelectronic treatments will continue to grow." They said additional chronic conditions might be addressed by closed-loop systems through identifying biomarkers; further development of biocompatible materials; and creation of better algorithms. (Medical Device Online)

Article Describes Growing Interest in India in Neuromodulation Treatments for Psychiatric Conditions

June 10, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paresh Doshi, MBBS, MS (General Surgery), MCh (Neurosurgery), was quoted in an article about access to neuromodulation for depression in India. According to the article, Dr. Doshi said the Mental Health Act of 2017 allows psychiatric surgery to be performed if overseen by an ethics committee or hospital review board. At his hospital in Mumbai, there have been 14 deep brain stimulation surgeries on patients for obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, including three from Australia and two from the U.S. There also are plans to offer repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation for depression. (Daily News and Analysis India)

Television Segment Presents Neurostimulation as an Alternative to Reliance on Pain Medication

June 6, 2018 - A news segment about a woman who was confined to her recliner and depended on a walker for a decade after her car accident says she learned about spinal cord stimulation from a Facebook group for chronic pain sufferers. Since receiving her device, she has been able to reduce her pain medications and become more active. Her physician pointed out the drug-free advantages of neurostimulation. (WSBT)

Overview of Pain Therapy Development Acknowledges Growth in Neuromodulation

June 6, 2018 - A column about the evolution of pain therapies mentions the rise in opioid-based treatments as well as two decades of growth in neuromodulation therapies as neurostimulation devices have become more advanced. (Neurology Reviews)

Auditory Brainstem Implants Now Available in New Zealand

June 5, 2018 - Six patients, aged 4 to 57 years, received the first auditory brainstem implants available in New Zealand, over the course of five days. The implant provides some sense of hearing for people whose auditory nerve is missing or damaged. (Scoop Sci-Tech)

Researchers Envision Prototype Wireless Implant Might Provide Brain Stimulation

June 4, 2018 - Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston plan to present their preclinical work at a meeting in August on prototype miniaturized implants that can receive power and communicate wirelessly, potentially being able to provide brain stimulation. (UPI)

A Medical Device Registry is Being Launched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

June 1, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosted a daylong summit on the launch of a registry among its insured populace to track medical implant devices, which might include cardiac pacemakers, joint replacements, and neurosurgical implants. (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs)

Column Discusses Potential for Neurostimulation and Other Technologies to Address the Opioid Epidemic

June 1, 2018 - A column about a recent FDA call for medical technology to address the opioid epidemic points out that spinal cord and nerve stimulation systems are pain management solutions that could curb opioid use. The article notes that the FDA is "open to developers of currently marketed devices who are interested in demonstrating that their device has an improved benefit-risk profile as compared to opioids in the management of pain." In addition, the article notes that a nerve stimulator by the company Innovative Health Solutions received FDA approval last year to be used for opioid withdrawal. (MD+DI)

Clinicians Publish Article About Introducing a Sense of Position to a Prosthetic Limb

May 30, 2018 - Researchers published an article in Science Translational Medicine about implantation of a below-the-knee prosthetic leg  that was designed to give a sense of leg position (proprioception) by interfacing with the peripheral nervous system. (MIT News)

Non-Invasive Brain-Stimulation Device Maker Files for $86 Million Initial Public Offering

June 1, 2018 - Neuronetics, Inc. filed for an initial public offering valued at more than $86 million. The company, which plans to trade on the NASDAQ exchange, said it intends to expand commercialization of its transcranial magnetic stimulation device for treating depression. (Mass Device)

Patient Receives Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Upstate New York

May 31, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD was interviewed in a news story about a young woman who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) to address medication-resistant symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. In the segment, Dr. Pilitsis explained the general theory is that DBS creates a "white noise" that allows the brain to fire normally. The television segment said the Albany facility is the only center between New York City and Boston that offers DBS. (WNYT)

Collaborators Receive $9 Million, Four-Year Grant to Study Infrared Neuromodulation

May 30, 2018 - The National Institutes of Health is granting researchers at three universities $9 million over four years to study infrared neuromodulation for therapeutic purposes. The research is being led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. A blog post there describes the interest in potentially treating conditions that may involve the autonomic nervous system, such as cardiac arrhythmias, high and low blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea, and severe diarrhea. Collaborating institutions are Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

Feasibility Study Monitors Motor Cortex Activity to Adjust Deep Brain Stimulation

May 29, 2018 - A feasibility study demonstrated using a recording electrode on the motor cortex to adjust deep brain stimulation based on the apparent presence of dyskinesias. The study in two patients showed no differences in improvement in movement between traditional constant stimulation or the adaptive stimulation. However, the researchers say the adaptive approach saved about 40% of the battery power. (NIH)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Investigates Brain Circuits, Non-Invasive Stimulation

May 29, 2018 - An article describes research into understanding different brain circuits involved in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or other methods, as part of the treatment. One researcher has identified four distinct patterns of brain activity after analyzing scans of 106 people with PTSD. Another has designed a clinical trial to offer veterans exposure therapy using virtual reality, combined with brain stimulation using transcranial direct current brain stimulation. (The Daily Beast)

Geneva Hospital Recruits Neuromodulation Practitioners to Staff a New Pain Clinic

May 30, 2018 - An article (in French) describes how International Neuromodulation Society members Blaise Rutschmann, MD and Christophe Perruchoud, MD were recruited to open a new pain clinic in Geneva at l’Hôpital de La Tour. (Tribune de Genève)

Article Summarizes Research Interest in Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

May 29, 2018 - An article describes potential clinical applications of transcranial direct current stimulation in various mental and cognitive disorders, explaining that interest stems from its ease of use and apparently few adverse effects, although clinical utility has not been established and long-term effects are unknown. (News-Medical.net)

Article Features Young Woman Who Received a Vagus Nerve Stimulator Implant for Epilepsy

May 28, 2018 - A news feature about a 21-year-old woman diagnosed with epilepsy 10 years ago presents vagus nerve stimulation, describing the therapeutic device she had implanted last year by providers with the U.K. National Health Service. (Daily Mail)

Findings from One Deep Brain Stimulation Target Reveal a Role for Dopamine in Insulin Sensitivity

May 28, 2018 - A report in Science Translational Medicine details research into the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens on insulin sensitivity. The study followed the observation that a man with a DBS system for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) noticed his need for insulin to control his Type 2 diabetes had decreased 80%. The researchers looked at the effects of brain stimulation on insulin sensitivity in 12 patients who had OCD. They also examined how drugs to reduce dopamine levels in healthy people affected insulin sensitivity. Finally, they used optogenetics in mice and saw that boosting dopamine production improved glucose tolerance. (Greely Tribune)

Neurologists and Physicists Publish a Neuroscience Paper that Suggests Slowing the Rate of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

May 27, 2018 - Researchers who analyzed clinical studies and stimulation of cultured cortical neurons say the maximal firing rate of neurons may be lower than presumed, and suggest that a slower rate of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be more effective. (Times of Israel)

Neuromodulation Discussed at Urology Meeting

May 21, 2018 - A number of presentations at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association concerned neuromodulation. A presenter who discussed third-line therapies for overactive bladder said she considers percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) between second- and third-line treatment, or "level 2.5". She said it is easy to use, minimally invasive, has minimal adverse events, and has level 1 evidence. Meanwhile, she added that advantages of sacral nerve stimulation as a third-line therapy include its efficacy in also treating urinary retention and fecal incontinence.

Another presenter discussed an observational pilot study of 11 patients with sacral nerve stimulators for urinary urge incontinence who did not have their devices explanted before receiving 1.5T MRIs of the lumbar or pelvic area. The authors noted no more than minimal discomfort, and no change in therapeutic efficacy.

Finally, data were presented from 116 drug-naive patients who underwent 12 sessions with a percutaneous tibial neuromodulation system for overactive bladder. The RESET study was a multi-center, single arm, prospective study. (UroToday.com)

Hospital in India Focuses on Chronic Pain Management

May 21, 2018 - A press release announces the availability of neuromodulation and other interventional pain procedures at a 50-bed hospital dedicated to the management of chronic pain in Calcutta, India. The announcement says the facility also provides training for specialists and pain management fellowships. (PR.com)

New Institute Provides Access to Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

May 20, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, was interviewed in an article about bringing deep brain stimulation to West Virginia, where he directs the new Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute at West Virginia University. (State Journal)

Study: Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Increased Beta-Endorphins in Obese Participants

May 20, 2018 - A controlled study of 40 people with obesity found that a 30-minute session of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation at high frequency led to an increase in beta-endorphins in the bloodstream of obese participants. Beta-endorphins are potentially associated with heightened feelings of reward after eating. The study, which examined both low- and high-frequency stimulation, was presented at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting in Barcelona. (EurekAlert)

Article Recognizes Group That Performed Several Deep Brain Stimulation Surgeries in Pakistan

May19, 2018 - An article says that three consecutive deep brain stimulation surgeries were performed by a team of international and Pakistani surgeons for the first time at Bahria Town International Hospital in Lahore. (Pakistan Observer)

Television Segment Features Neuromodulation as an Alternative to Opioids

May 17, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joshua Prager, MD, was interviewed along with a pain patient about how neuromodulation can be a "non-addictive" approach to managing some pain conditions. (Fox 2 Now)

Researchers Create Prototype Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Headgear for Home Use

May 15, 2018 -  Researchers report they have created a prototype headgear for transcranial direct current stimulation in home or clinical settings that can be postponed over the motor cortex and opposite-side supraorbital region without requiring measurements. In a clinic, positioning typically involves taking recordings using electroencephalography (EEG). (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Results Presented in Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation System

May 15, 2018 - According to results presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons' annual meeting, the Boston Scientific Corporation's Vercise deep brain stimulation (DBS) system, approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2017, met its primary and many secondary endpoints in the INTREPID trial. The trial of the multiple-source, constant-current system in 160 patients with Parkinson's disease was blinded and sham-controlled during the 12-week randomization period. The primary outcome was the difference between groups in the mean number of waking hours per day with good symptom control in the absence of troublesome dyskinesias or medication increases. The mean difference in these "on" periods was 3.03 ± 4.5 hours for active treatment compared to sham. (Medscape)

Study: Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Lowered Reactivity to Addiction Cues

May 15, 2018 - Researchers report in Biological Psychiatry they were able to reduce reactivity to addiction cues in study subjects who had cocaine-use disorder or alcohol-use disorder. The reactivity was seen as elevated brain activity in response to cues, such as seeing an image of a liquor bottle. Such responses predict relapse in addiction. In this study, the subjects did not report reduced cravings. Forty-nine subjects participated in the sham-controlled study, which involved a single session of continuous theta burst stimulation to the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex. (R&D Magazine)

Laboratory Study Finds Gene Activity Changes in Impaired Mice Following Deep Brain Stimulation

May 14, 2018 - Scientists say a study of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a mouse model suggests the treatment might be considered to address some symptoms of Rett syndrome in children. The condition, caused by an inborn error of metabolism, leads to intellectual disability and other challenges. Using a mouse model of the syndrome, scientists applied DBS to the fimbria-fornix brain region in the mice and observed changes in gene activity. Earlier studies had shown that mice with an intellectual disability that received DBS to the fimrbria-fornix performed certain tasks as well as mice without the disorder. (The Scientist)

Paper Describes Neurostimulation Technique in a Case of Pelvic Pain

May 12, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Marvel, MD, published a case report about chronic, opioid-dependent pelvic pain that was relieved by placement of a neurostimulator, using laparoscopic techniques, to provide therapeutic stimulation to the obdurator. (The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology)

Researchers Analyze Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Effects on Fine Motor Control

May 11, 2018 - In a meta-analysis of published studies about non-invasive brain stimulation on fine motor control, researchers found that transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation may have beneficial effects on fine motor movement in healthy participants and patients undergoing rehabilitation after stroke. (EurekAlert)

Company Begins Clinical Evaluation of Its Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Device for Migraine Pain

May 9, 2018 - Israel-based Neurolief's non-invasive brain stimulation device has begun clinical trials as a potential method to reduce migraine pain. The device provides transcutaneous electrical stimulation to the occipital and supraorbital nerves. The company expects a study in 56 patients to be completed this year. (Globes)

Meta-Analysis: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improved Walking Speed After Stroke

May 9, 2018 - An international team of authors published an analysis of six studies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) following stroke. The studies with 139 patients total showed there was significant improvement in walking speed in patients who received rTMS, especially when stimulation was applied to the same side as the stroke. (Medical Xpress)

Clinicians Use Deep Brain Stimulation Electrodes to Detect a Potential Therapeutic Biomarker

May 2018 - Clinical researchers in Australia studied neural activity in response to deep brain stimulation in 19 patients who have movement disorder. They identified a largeā€amplitude resonant neural response to stimulation of the dorsal region of the subthalamic nucleus, a clinically optimal stimulation target for Parkinson's disease. The study authors say the response might serve as a biomarker to facilitate improved targeting of therapeutic stimulation. (Annals of Neurology)

FDA Clears Company's Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Component

May 6, 2018 - BrainsWay Ltd. announced it has received FDA clearance for a stimulator to be integrated into its deep transcranial magnetic stimulation system for treatment of major depressive disorder. (Globe Newswire)

Clinicians to Assess Vagus Nerve Stimulation During Stroke Rehabilitation

May 2, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Marcia Bockbrader, MD, PhD was interviewed in an article about a clinical trial that will evaluate implanted vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitation from stroke. The trial will include a control arm of patients who do not receive an implanted device. The study follows an earlier pilot study that showed about 85% of stroke patients who received the stimulation during physical rehabilitation benefited. (Medical Xpress)

Study Results Presented About External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to Halt Migraine Attacks

May 1, 2018 - At the 18th Congress of the International Headache Society, results of a multi-center, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial were presented that demonstrated that external trigeminal nerve stimulation -- already approved for prevention of migraines -- was effective in treating acute migraine episodes. (Newswire.net)

Presentation Suggests Unilateral Deep Brain Stimulation May Suffice for Axial Symptoms of Essential Tremor

April 27, 2018 - In a subsidy of 119 patients with essential tremor, 80 of whom had unilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS), the other who had had bilateral, the group with unilateral DBS was shown to have more than 50% improvement in axial symptoms up to 12 months. The study, presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, concludes that unilateral DBS may allow patients with axial symptoms avoid some side effects of bilateral DBS to the ventral intermediate nucleus. (Medscape)

Study Intended to Raise Awareness of Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Option

April 26, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Tim Lamer, MD, presented a poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine annual meeting that summarizes a systemic review of 30 years of randomized controlled trials of spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Among its findings were that newer stimulation modes led to increased odds of pain relief, and that SCS significantly reduced pain compared to medical therapy. (Vision)

Market Study Indicates Shifts in Market Shares for Neuromodulation Device Makers

April 23, 2018 - The Neurotech Reports newsletter predicts that the global market for neurotechnology products will be $8.4 billion in 2018 and grow to $13.3 billion by 2022, a 12-percent compound annual growth rate. It also traces changing market share among the main providers of spinal cord stimulation and deep brain stimulation devices. (Globe Newswire)

Comparative Study: Short Brain Stimulation Sessions Effective in Depression

April 26, 2018 - A comparative study of 414 patients with treatment-resistant depression, published in The Lancet, found that three minutes of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) with intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) was as effective as the standard treatment of high frequency (10 Hz) stimulation for 37.5 minutes. The authors reported that 49 percent of patients who received iTBS had significant reduction in symptoms, with 32% reporting remission, compared to a remission rate of 27% in the group that received standard high-frequency stimulation. The study was carried out in Canada, where public health authorities in the provinces of Quebec and Saskatchewan will cover the cost of treatment. Use of rTMS was approved for treating depression by Health Canada in 2002, and by the U.S. FDA in 2008. (EurekAlert)

Control Module Helps Retain Sensation in Prosthetic Arms

April 26, 2018 - Researchers in Illinois demonstrated a way of processing nerve stimulation when providing a sense of touch to a prosthetic limb so that the sensation is durable under real-world usage conditions, for instance, when the electrodes begin to peel off or sweat builds up. The lead author of a published report about the sensory control module has begun a company that develops bionic arms meant to be affordable in developing parts of the world. (Science Daily)

Researchers Report a Novel Approach to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

April 25, 2018 - An open-label study published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface of 21 patients who had upper and lower extremity pain from complex regional syndrome showed promise from a novel form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. The patients received intermittent theta-burst stimulation over the motor cortex corresponding to their pain location. This was followed by 10 Hz high-frequency stimulation using a deep targeting coil. The patients received either a single session or five consecutive sessions. The first group had 60% responders at week 1, and the second group had 58% and 50% responders at weeks 1 and 2, respectively. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Non-Invasive Spine Stimulation Aided Functional Rehabilitation of Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

April 25, 2018 - Researchers report that eight sessions of transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation combined with neurorehabilitation training allowed six people with spinal cord injuries to recover some functional use of their hands and fingers, allowing them to perform more tasks independently. Also, some physiologic functions, such as blood pressure, improved, as did the ability to sit upright without support. (UCLA)

U.K. Publication Features Phantom Limb Syndrome and Neuromodulation Treatments

April 25, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nigel Kellow, MBBS, was interviewed in a detailed overview of phantom limb syndrome and treatments, including spinal cord stimulation and deep brain stimulation. (BT Insider)

Analysis Examines Outcomes of Parkinson's Patients with Depression Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

April 25, 2018 - An analysis of 1,037 patients with Parkinson's disease admitted to the hospital from 2010 - 2014 with an additional diagnosis of major depressive disorder showed that the 70 who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS), despite increased hospitalization costs, had shorter hospitalizations and lower rates of transfer to acute-care hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Based on the positive outcomes, the investigators recommend consideration of such patients for DBS in a multidisciplinary team setting that includes psychiatric evaluation and input. (Neurology Advisor)

Study: Chronic Pain Symptoms, Opioid Use, Decreased at One Year

April 24, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, commented on a subanalysis of the SUNBURST burst-mode spinal cord stimulation study presented at the January 2018 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. The analysis of the study, of which he was a co-investigator, showed a link between good pain control among the 69 patients who were followed for one year and reduced opioid use -- even though reducing opioid use was not an explicit goal of the study. (Pain Medicine News)

Memory Enhancement Through Neurostimulation Draws Potential Commercial Interest

April 23, 2018 - A magazine article mentions two recently reported studies that demonstrated the effects of brain stimulation on memory encoding and recall in volunteers who were being monitored for epilepsy. The article mentions commercial interest from a startup and the prospect of potentially conducting clinical trials with a fully implantable device in the future. (Mach)

Review Summarizes Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial Findings

May 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Nagy Mekhail, MD; Priya Agrawal, DO; and colleagues have published a review of 21 randomized controlled trials of spinal cord stimulation, providing outcome-specific evidence scores on aspects such as pain relief, quality of life, functional status, psychological impact, patient satisfaction and healthcare costs. (Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine)

Authors Observe Spinal Cord Stimulation Benefits Over Time on Function, Pain, and Quality of Life

April 19, 2018 - Clinicians in Italy, including International Neuromodulation Society members Angelo Lavano, MD; Furio Zucco, MD; Paolo Poli, MD; and Laura Demartini, MD, published longitudinal observations from the PRECISE study of 80 consecutive pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation for failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). The patients were assessed and followed from 2005 to 2007, with 55 patients completing the 24-month assessment. The authors conclude that their results suggest patients whose FBSS is refractory to conventional medical management can obtain improvement in pain perception, functional ability and heath-related quality of life through spinal cord stimulation plus conventional medical management. (Health and Quality of Life Outcomes)

Data to Be Presented on Wrist-Worn Transcutaneous Neurostimulator for Essential Tremor Patients

April 19, 2018 - The American Academy of Neurology released two meeting abstracts in advance of its annual meeting about non-invasive devices, worn on the wrist, that stimulate the median and radial nerves to reduce involuntary hand motion in essential tremor patients. The findings will be reported at the meeting on April 25. (MedPage Today)

Studies Strive to Improve Hand Function After Paralyzing Spine Injury

March 30, 2018 -A profile of a researcher describes research at the University of California, Los Angeles into using epidural spinal cord stimulation to help spine-injured patients regain some use of their limbs and hands. The researchers recently published a pilot study about their research into improving hand function. (Los Angeles Magazine)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Talk Therapy Results for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

April 19, 2018 - In a sham-controlled trial, 103 combat veterans with PTSD were randomized to receive either active, or sham, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation prior to sessions of cognitive processing therapy, a cognitive behavioral therapy used for treating PTSD. The group that received active stimulation had significantly greater improvement for up to six months, according to the research team's findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. (UT Dallas)

Article Examines Nuances of Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

April 17, 2018 - An article examines research into deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression, explaining an evolving perspective on patient and target selection and clinical trial timelines and turning points. (The Atlantic)

Neurostimulation Provider Says This Alternative to Opioids is Underutilized

April 17, 2018 - A local television segment about a back-pain patient and her doctor presents spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain as an underutilized option that can be an alternative to opioids. The segment focuses on sub-threshold stimulation as a relatively new treatment choice. (NBC 5 Dallas)

Neurosurgeon in Dallas Describes Establishment of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 2018 - A news feature profiles a local neurosurgeon who provides deep stimulation in the Dallas, Texas area. The article describes the evolution of the technology and how it is becoming more commonplace. (D Magazine)

Interview with German Neurosurgeon Summarizes the State of Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

April 15, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandevalle, MD, PhD, was quoted in an article about deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and other conditions. She said she hoped to make people less afraid of such an intervention by informing a wider audience about this work. (DW.com)

Column Advocates Patient-Centered Approach to Neuromodulation for Chronic Pain

April 13, 2018 - An article that mentions the importance of neuromodulation in the context of the growing opioid epidemic calls for physicians to respond to rapid evolution in the field by tailoring the therapy to individual patients. (NeuroNews)

A New Brain Stimulation Approach Created Natural Sensations in Paralyzed Hands

April 10, 2018 - A paper in eLife reports the use of intracortical microstimulation to produce naturalistic sensations in the hands of a paralyzed patient. The researchers say they would like to next connect the implanted electrode arrays to prosthetics to potentially create better feedback control for the user. (Neuroscience News)

Clinicians Investigating Deep Brain Stimulator for Motor Recovery from Stroke Receive $2.5 Million Grant

April 9, 2018 - The National Institutes of Health has given a $2.5 million grant to a team at Cleveland Clinic co-led by International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, to advance work using deep brain stimulation to improve post-stroke motor rehabilitation. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

Researchers Document Improvement in Primary Headache from Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation

April 9, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Satoshi Ayuzawa, MD, PhD, and colleagues published an article https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ner.12772 about a study in which 54 patients with primary headache had improved pain and disability scores following three months of electroacupuncture peripheral nerve field stimulation of the C2 dermatome. (Neurology Advisor)

Newly Approved Spinal Cord Stimulator Implanted in Australia

April 9, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Marc Russo, MD was interviewed in an article about the first chronic pain patient in Australia to receive a rechargeable spinal cord stimulator that was recently approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. (Nine.com.au)

Published Interview with Parkinson's Disease Patient Provides Overview of the Condition and Treatment

April 9, 2018 - A profile about a Parkinson's disease patient describes early signs of the condition that he and others have experienced, and recounts research findings about its prognosis and treatment, and the benefits he received from using deep brain stimulation to manage symptoms. (Citrus County Chronicle)

Patient Tells Her Personal Story About Improvement from Depression Through Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

April 9, 2018 - A local woman is profiled who found relief from medication-resistant depression through transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Frederick News Post)

News Article Summarizes Three Studies of Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

April 8, 2018 - An article summarizing research into deep brain stimulation for Alzheimer's disease describes three completed or current clinical trials involving stimulation to the fornix, or to either the fornix or the the basal nucleus of Meynert. (Alzheimer's News Today)

Crossover Study Compares Spinal Cord Stimulation Frequencies in Relieving Low Back Pain

April 2, 2018 - A prospective, randomized crossover study of 24 patients with lower back pain concluded that 5882 Hz spinal cord stimulation can produce significant pain relief for axial low back pain, compared to lower frequencies and sham stimulation. Furthermore, sham stimulation produced similar analgesic effects to 1200 Hz and 3030 Hz. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Retrospective Study Investigated the Effectiveness of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Plus Medication for Epilepsy

April 2, 2018 - Examining the effects of anti-epilepsy medication and vagus nerve stimulation over five years, researchers in Sweden analyzed 130 consecutive patients who were implanted between 2000 and 2013 with a vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device for epilepsy. They said their data supports the idea that VNS effectiveness increases over time, and suggest that it should be evaluated for at least two years after implantation, with medication changes kept to a minimum during this evaluation period. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinicians Publish Data on Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation for Low Back Pain

April 2, 2018 - A 12-month follow-up on 50 patients with back and leg pain showed the addition of peripheral nerve field stimulation continued to provide statistically significant, clinically relevant relief of low back pain in patients for whom spinal cord stimulation relieved leg pain only. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Article Summarizes Considerations Concerning Non-Invasive Devices to Address Migraine Pain

April 5, 2018 - An article briefly compares three non-invasive devices, approved relatively recently by the FDA, which are available by prescription for treatment of acute migraine pain. The article notes that insurance coverage differs by device and individual plan. Two of the devices are only available on a rental basis. The article adds that the FDA considers the devices low-risk. Experts commented that clinical experience is growing, and the devices expand options for patients, for instance, if their condition is not adequately controlled by medication, or medication causes intolerable side effects. (Neurology Today)

Prosthetic Hands Gain Tactile Feedback and Refined Control

April 3, 2018 - A news feature profiles emerging work by several companies to bridge prosthetic hands to the nervous system and use systems that refine control, such as machine learning, to provide more precise motor control as well as sensory feedback. (CNET)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Studies Use Closed-Loop Approaches

April 4, 2018 - A news article describes three new investigations of non-invasive brain stimulation that may ultimately address depression or memory disorders. The methods combine either transcranial alternating current stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation with electroencephalography to monitor any changes in brain activity in response to the stimulation. (Nature)

Child Receives Deep Brain Stimulation for Rare Movement Disorder

April 3, 2018 - A 9-year-old boy, with a movement disorder arising from a mutation to the GNAO1 gene, is one of less than 10 patients to receive deep brain stimulation for his condition. The robotic-assisted surgery was partially funded by a children's hospital charity. (Daily Mail)

Summary Recounts Evidence Concerning Neurostimulation in Cluster Headache

April 2, 2018 - A overview of cluster headache treatments summarizes emerging evidence about the potential for stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion to abort attacks. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Guidelines Address Bleeding Control in Interventional Pain Procedures

April 2018 - Updated guidelines, on anticoagulation management for interventional pain procedures, have been published by an international team of authors. They update a 2015 version endorsed by the European Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Therapy, American Academy of Pain Medicine, the International Neuromodulation Society, North American Neuromodulation Society, and the World Institute of Pain. (Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine)

Video Shows Patient Playing Flute During Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

March 31, 2018 - A medical center in Texas released a video of a 63-year-old dystonia patient playing her flute during deep brain stimulation surgery. Her use of her instrument helped to assess the effect of the stimulation. (Tech Times)

Article: Spinal Cord Stimulation Offers Hope for Chronic Pain Patients

March 29, 2018 - An article about recent spinal cord stimulation (SCS) describes recent offerings by four device companies, and says the therapy "sounds a lot scarier than it really is". The article adds that doctors are wary of prescribing opioids for chronic pain, which increases interest in SCS. (CNBC)

Researchers Observe Subcortical Voltage Changes from Transcutaneous Direct Current Brain Stimulation

March 27, 2018 - Data from patients who have deep brain stimulation systems (DBS) indicate transcranial direct current stimulation produces electric fields at subcortical levels. The research was carried out after the initial implantation of the DBS leads, before they were connected to an implantable pulse generator. (Science Daily)

Article Recognizes Patient Care Team's Role in Intrathecal Drug Delivery

March 26, 2018 - An article that mentions the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference treatment algorithm highlights findings from a literature search about the role of physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses in working with physicians to provide intrathecal drug delivery. (Pain Medicine News)

Analysis Associates Brainwave Patterns with Neurological Diseases

March 16, 2018 - In a study they say supports the validity of thalamocortical dysrhythmia as an underlying aspect of several neurological disorders, researchers analyzed resting-state electroencephalography oscillatory patterns in patients with Parkinson’s disease, neuropathic pain, tinnitus, and depression. They identified brain areas that were common to those conditions and also saw spatially distinct forms of dysthymia that were dependent on the specific disorder. The study used machine learning to detect these oscillatory patterns. (Nature Communications)

Transcutaneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation Study Presented at Urology Meeting

March 2018 - At the 33rd Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology, clinicians from Turkey presented a placebo-controlled study of transcutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation (TPTNS) in 60 subjects who have premature ejaculation. Treatment consisted of 30 minutes of TPTNS daily for 12 weeks. The study showed a statistically significant improvements in both groups, with the treatment group having a higher percentage change in one scale measured, compared to placebo. (European Urology Supplement)

Study Explores Possibility of Nerve-Based Approach to Treat Obesity

March 22, 2018 - A presentation at the Society for Interventional Radiology conference described a safety study of a possible nerve-based approach to weight loss. During an office visit, 10 moderately to severely obese people had their posterior vagal trunk "frozen" by a probe for two minutes. They were followed for 90 days. The group averaged an overall weight loss of 3.6%. A larger, controlled clinical trial is planned. (ABC News)

Paper Documents a New Research Tool for Studying Brain Function

March 21, 2018 - Researchers studying a new class of temperature-sensitive cation-channel proteins have shown the so-called "thermogenetic tools" can be used to regulate activity of individual neurons in the brain through changes in temperature. The researchers think their laboratory findings, demonstrated in fruit flies, may help inform advances in deep brain stimulation. The findings were published in Scientific Reports. (Science Daily)

Preclinical Study Shows Improvements from Neurostimulation and Rehabilitation Following Spinal Cord Injury

March 19, 2018 - In a video interview, researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland demonstrate how spine-injured rats that received electrical stimulation and physiotherapy regained some ability to walk independently. An article explains the capability was regained through growth of new neural connections from their cerebral cortex -- as determined in three-dimensional microscopy. (Reuters)

Researchers Publish Findings About Neurostimulation in Spine-Injured Patients and Plan an Expanded Study

March 19, 2018 - Researchers have published findings of the effects of epidural spinal cord stimulation on blood pressure regulation in patients with spinal cord injury. They plan to expand the research and are recruiting 36 patients for a six-year study. The study will assess cardiovascular effects as well as motor rehabilitation. (Medical Express)

Agency Announces Research Program Into Non-Invasive Brain Devices

March 16, 2018 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, announced a new four-year program, Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3), to demonstrate a bidirectional system for human-machine interactions in defense-related tasks. They are also looking into regulatory issues. (DARPA)

In Study, Patients Compare Spinal Cord Stimulation Waveform Options

March 14, 2018 - An article summarizes results of the WHISPER study presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. In it, 70 spinal cord stimulation patients, with pain scores of at least 6 out of 10, tried subperception stimulation and superperception stimulation randomly for three months each. Given a choice after that, 55 patients chose subperception stimulation. These patients were followed for 12 months. (Pain Medicine News)

Case Study Reports Improved Blood Pressure Control from Spinal Cord Stimulation in a Spine-Injured Patient

March 13, 2018 - A case study reports effects of neuromodulation on a spine-injured patient with motor paralysis and autonomic symptoms, such as vertigo related to positional changes in blood pressure. With spinal cord stimulation in the lower back, the patient maintained stable blood pressure when moved to an upright position on a tilt table. The study appeared as a research letter online in February in JAMA Neurology. (Ubyssey)

Researchers Compare Awake vs. Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

March 13, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Lars Wojtecki, MD; Philipp Slotty, MD; Jan Vesper, MD; and colleagues have published a retrospective comparison of outcomes at three and 12 months in 96 patients with Parkinson's disease who received deep brain stimulation targeting the subthalamic nucleus. Half (48) of the patients were awake during the surgery and half were asleep. The comparison showed overall motor function improved faster in the awake group with the difference disappearing at one year. Freezing and speech symptoms, meanwhile, were worse after asleep surgery at three months and one year, respectively. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Neurosurgeons Publish a Study Protocol for Deep Brain Stimulation to Address Morbid Obesity

March 12, 2018 - Clinicians in Brazil have published a feasibility study protocol for deep brain stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamus in up to six patients with morbid obesity. According to the published information, weight loss of at least 3% will be considered adequate after three months of stimulation. (Neurosurgery)

Stroke Survivor Describes Her Neurostimulation Treatment During Rehabilitation

March 11, 2018 - An article features an interview with a stroke survivor in Scotland who has been using vagus nerve stimulation in conjunction with rehabilitation exercises to restore upper limb function. (The Sun)

Researchers Demonstrate a Stimulation Treatment for Tinnitus

March 11, 2018 - A double-blinded, sham-controlled, crossover study in 20 people with tinnitus showed that 28 days of bimodal stimulation reduced the loudness and intrusiveness of the disorder. Research in an animal model of tinnitus had shown that a pattern of combined auditory and somatosensory stimulation reduced activity of the cochlea nucleus, where fusiform cells integrate auditory and somatosensory inputs. The research was published in Science Translational Medicine. (Bel Marra Health)

New Clinical Trial Attempts to Restore Movement After Paralysis

March 8, 2018 - A spinal cord injury patient who became paralyzed in a fall while sleepwalking 11 years ago is one of the first participants in a Minnesota clinical trial of epidural spinal cord stimulation to restore volitional motor control. She said already she has regained some movement in her toes, and she hopes to continue using the device beyond the initial study period. (Jamestown Sun)

Pilot Study Assessed Novel Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Protocol in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

March 4, 2018 - A pilot study of a novel transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment in 21 patients with CRPS I or CRPS II showed at least 30% reduction in pain in more than half the participants, with four participants experiencing more than 50% pain relief beyond six to eight weeks. The authors found no difference in pain reduction between a single session or five consecutive sessions. Treatment consisted of intermittent theta-burst stimulation to the motor cortex, followed by 10 Hz high-frequency stimulation to deeper regions. The placement of the stimulating coil above the motor cortex was individualized based on the patient's pain location. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Article Features Neural Interface Research in Paralysis

March 4, 2018 - A news feature about the BrainGate research program, to restore some motion or function to paralyzed people with neural implants, highlights the project as being considered to be named one of 50 ideas with the potential to change the world. (Financial Times)

Past International Neuromodulation Society President Reflects on Progress of Field

March 2, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society Emeritus Director-at-Large Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, a past president of INS, was interviewed about how he has seen the field of neuromodulation grow and change. He describes his interest in seeing neuromodulation be a standard of care for neuropathic pain, which "is associated with severe deficits of health-related quality of life and responds poorly to opioids," saying, "Neuromodulation must be positioned ahead of opioids. To do that it has to be much more accessible with shorter times from diagnosis of refractory pain to neuromodulation." (NeuroNews)

Study: Memory Improvement from Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Seen in Younger, But Not Older, Adults

March 1, 2018 - A 96-person study of transcranial magnetic stimulation in two age groups -- adults over age 60 or under age 35 -- showed it improved the ability of study subjects to recall names associated with faces only in the younger group. The younger adults showed an average 50% improvement in memory, both immediately after the stimulation, and one day later. (Daily Mail)

Data Show Effects of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation in the Elderly

March 2018 - A retrospective study of 53 patients aged 65 or older who underwent percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation found 70% had symptom improvement, according to data presented at the 2018 meeting of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction. (Uro Today)

Column: How Neurostimulation Treatment Can Gain Uptake

Feb. 27, 2018 - Writing as president of the International Neuromodulation Society, Timothy Deer, MD, published a column about neurostimulation as part of the solution to the opioid crisis. He lists ways to make the next decade the time of electrical medicine. Dr Deer says, "we now are ready to launch the modern world into a time when neurostimulation is thought of as a normal part of medical care." (NeuroNews)

Review Assesses Preclinical and Clinical Data on Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Feb. 27, 2018 - A review of preclinical and clinical findings from studies of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression concludes that, of six brain targets that have been investigated, more consistent anti-depressant effects were observed in the subcallosal cingulate gyrus, nucleus accumbens, anterior limb of internal capsule, and medial forebrain bundle. (Molecular Psychiatry)

Pain Patient Describes Back Pain Relief From Spinal Cord Stimulation in a Syndicated U.S. Television Talk Show

Feb. 20, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kasra Amirdelfan, MD, was interviewed with a pain patient on a five-minute television segment about medical treatments, discussing how she found relief for back pain from degenerative disc disease -- after having become more debilitated over 15 years despite escalating pain medication -- through trying a newer spinal cord stimulation system. (The Doctors via YouTube)

Pilot Clinical Trial Suggests Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation May Aid Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Feb. 22, 2018 - A randomized, sham-controlled, blinded pilot clinical trial of rehabilitation for cerebral palsy in 20 patients aged 7 - 21 compared physical therapy alone to physical therapy plus transcranial direct current stimulation. Both groups improved hand strength over six months. The researchers noted that children whose brains retained connections to their weaker hand showed greater improvement specifically from the brain stimulation. (University of Minnesota)

Clinicians Publish Data From Short Study of Adaptive Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 21, 2018 - A study of 11 patients with symptoms of rigidity from advanced Parkinson's disease  showed motor symptoms improved almost 30% during an 8-hour course of adaptive deep brain stimulation (DBS). The two-day study explored the tolerability and safety of unilateral adaptive stimulation after patients were implanted with bilateral DBS systems that target the subthalamic nucleus. Adaptive DBS varies stimulation based on beta band brainwave activity, which is associated with movement. (MedPage Today)

New Neuromodulation Center in Toronto Will Focus on Clinical Research into Brain Stimulation

Feb. 21, 2018 - Donations totaling $10 million will establish the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation at Sunnybrook in Toronto. An announcement says the center plans to focus on recruitment for clinical trials "of focused ultrasound and other highly sophisticated neuromodulation technologies". (Sunny brook Health Sciences Centre)

Study of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation Suggests a Role for the Motor Cortex in Semantic Processing

Feb. 13, 2018 - A sham-controlled, double-blind study of transcranial direct current stimulation to the motor cortex in 16 patients who were undergoing language therapy for post-stroke aphasia showed a differential effect on processing of action words or object words. (Journal of Neurophysiology)

Case Series Describes Non-Invasive Tinnitus Treatment

Jan. - Feb. 2018 - A published case series says transcranial direct current stimulation is "an effective intervention for tinnitus while inhibiting the dominant temporoparietal cortex and simultaneous stimulating the non-dominant dorsolateral prefrontal cortex." (Noise Health)

Epidural Stimulation Helped Modulate Blood Pressure in Spinal Cord Injury Patient

Feb. 19, 2018 - A case report in JAMA Neurology describes effects of acute epidural stimulation to improve cardiovascular dysfunction in a man with spinal cord injury. The authors say the stimulation "can excite sympathetic circuitry and instantaneously modulate cardiovascular function." (Science Daily)

Podcast Interview Features a Participant in a Study of a Neural Implant for Paralysis

Feb. 19, 2018 - A 30-minute interview during a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience presents the perspective of study volunteer Ian Burkhart, who has worked with researchers to regain some motor control of his hand and arm through the use of a cuff on his forearm connected to a neural array implanted above his motor cortex. Burkhart describes his motivations and activities he was able to achieve through the study. The initial study was extended and has continued nearly four years. (Neural Implant Podcast)

Pilot Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Gait in Patients With Advanced Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 14, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andrew Parent, MD, and colleagues have published a pilot study in which five patients with advanced Parkinson's disease received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to improve gait, including freezing of gait. The patients were followed for six months. During that time, SCS settings were optimized using measurements of walking. The authors say they believe a longer and larger clinical study is warranted, due to an unmet need concerning these movement issues in this patient population. (Movement Disorders)

Proposed Algorithm Might Expedite Initial Programming of Deep Brain Stimulation Leads

Jan. 24, 2018 -  Researchers have published their work to develop a proposed algorithm to automate the first steps of programming cylindrical or directional leads for deep brain stimulation. They based the algorithm on a model derived from imaging, and demonstrated an example programming case for three lead designs to target the subthalamic nucleus for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In their example case, the directional leads activated a greater volume of the stimulation target, in both central and off-target placements. They said a generic model might offer quick results for most patients, with more complex models for challenging scenarios. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

International Research Team Receives Multi-Year Grant for Neural Interface Technology

Feb. 15, 2018 - A $19 million grant over four years is allowing an international research team to develop so-called neurograins which are meant to be able to sense and stimulate wirelessly within the brain. The grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency's Neural Engineering System Design program will support work at  Brown University;  the University of California, San Diego; the University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts General Hospital; Stanford University; Qualcomm; the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering; and the Belgium-based research group IMEC. (Brown University)

Proof-of-Principle Preclinical Study Shows Nanoparticles Allow Light-Mediated Brain Stimulation Without Implanted Optical Fibers

Feb. 14, 2018 - A research report in Science describes studies in mice showing that nanoparticles within the brain allow externally applied infrared light to up-convert to visible light, activating optogenetic cell channels in the neural tissue. The development is considered a potential future way to carry out optogenetic therapy without the need for implanted optical fibers. In the studies, the luminescent nanoparticles, which are injected and move within the brain, are energized by deeply penetrating near-infrared light that is shone outside the skull. The light-mediated cell activation in the experiments triggered memory recall and dopamine release. (Science Daily)

Article Highlights Potential Future U.S. Pilot Study of Deep Brain Stimulation for Addiction

Feb. 13, 2018 - A news feature surveys studies of deep brain stimulation for addiction, including interest at the new West Virginia University Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. The institute director, International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, described an intent to study brain implants for the most disabling and treatment-resistant cases of addiction, and less-invasive methods to help overcome addictive behavior -- saying the ultimate goal "is to not need implants." (STAT via Student Doctor Network)

Authors Review Randomized Trials of Cranial Electrical Stimulation

Feb. 13, 2018 - A review of 26 randomized trials of cranial electrical stimulation (CES) that reported pain, depression, anxiety or sleep outcomes in the Annals of Internal Medicine found "low-strength" evidence that CES can help people with depression and anxiety. The small, short-term, or otherwise limited studies did not provide sufficient evidence that the devices are effective in depression alone, insomnia, joint pain, or chronic headaches. (U.S. News & World Report)

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Studies Address Stuttering

Feb. 12, 2018 - A sham-controlled study of neurostimulation in 30 stutterers showed some promise lessening the severity. The study involved transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the left frontal cortex, which plays a role in speech planning and production. Another study is investigating high-definition tDCS to the supplementary motor area, an area involved in speech timing. (IEEE Spectrum)

In Case Report, Deep Brain Stimulation Reduced Tremor After Lesioning

Feb. 12, 2018 - A case report describes successfully using thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) of a previously lesioned target to regain tremor control. The patient had medically refractory essential tremor. Symptoms had recurred about six months after an initially successful unilateral thalamotomy accomplished through focused ultrasound ablation. The tremor was subsequently controlled through DBS that targeted the thalamic nucleus ventralis intermedius (Vim) on the same side as the previous lesioning. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Article Suggests Neuromodulation May Help Inflammatory Skin Disease

Feb. 9, 2018 - A commentary says that vagus nerve stimulation, due to its long-term safety profile and promising results in rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel disease, "could offer an optimal treatment approach for patients with recalcitrant inflammatory skin disease." (Dermatology and Therapy)

Review Discusses Effects of Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation to Treat Pain

Feb. 12, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Krishna Chakravarthy, MD, PhD; Fang Xing, MD; and Thomas Kinfe, MD, PhD have published a review regarding spinal cord stimulation for pain that uses a burst mode. In it, they discuss possible modes of action and comment on clinical outcomes. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Device Maker Enters Into $5 Million Cooperative Agreement to Develop Neurostimulation for Post-Stroke Spasticity

Feb. 7, 2018 - PathMaker Neurosystems Inc. entered into a four-year cooperative agreement, valued at nearly $5 million, with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to continue developing a non-invasive neurostimulation system to treat spasticity after stroke. The MyoRegulator device simultaneously stimulates spinal and peripheral locations. The company, based in Boston and Paris, said it will pursue multi-center clinical trials with coordination by Northwell Health and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. (Mass Device)

Study: Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Appears to Improve Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

Feb. 7, 2018 - A news release announces a sham-controlled preliminary study in 33 patients showed that fatigue symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients were improved through six weeks of non-invasive brain stimulation. Active stimulation was carried out three times a week with a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) device that is designed to reach deeper brain structures than standard TMS. The stimulation targeted the prefrontal cortex and primary motor cortex, according to the study that was published in Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. (EurekAlert)

Researchers Evaluate Effects of Brain Stimulation on Processing of Negative Emotion

Feb. 6, 2018 - A study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging showed that modulating the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with either inhibitory or excitatory transcranial magnetic stimulation strengthened or weakened the processing of negative emotion, respectively, in healthy volunteers. The 41 volunteers were either shown images of fearful faces or neutral faces while receiving a single session of the stimulation. (News-Medical.Net)

Author: Funding Initiatives Aim to Advance Neuromodulation Effectiveness

Feb. 6, 2018 - An article describes federal funding in the U.S. of research to continue to further develop and refine neuromodulation technologies to make them more precise and tailored, which may lead to wider clinical adoption. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Study: Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Improved Memory Recall

Feb. 6, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwini Sharan, MD, and co-authors published results of a study showing that closed-loop stimulation to the lateral temporal cortex in 25 patients with epilepsy enhanced memory encoding and later recall. The closed-loop system monitored neural activity and applied stimulation when periods of poor recall were predicted. The patients were recruited at six centers where they were undergoing clinical evaluation of their epilepsy. In the study, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the subjects' verbal recall improved by 15%, the researchers said. (Nature Communications)

Clinical Trial Explores On-Demand Deep Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor

Feb. 6, 2018 - A clinical trial at the University of Washington is evaluating demand-driven deep brain stimulation in essential tremor, according to a news feature about different types of brain stimulation research taking place at the university's Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. (Seattle Times)

Neurosurgeons Elaborate on Their Publication Comparing Asleep vs. Awake Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 5, 2018 - Neurosurgeons at Oregon Health & Science University discuss a comparison https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28986415 of clinical outcomes of asleep vs. awake deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. (Medscape)

Study Evaluates Changing Spinal Cord Stimulation Frequency with Patient Position

Feb. 5, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Roy Hwang, MD, and Julie Pilitis, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a pilot study in 12 pain patients that evaluated alternating conventional spinal cord stimulation, when patients were upright, with high-frequency spinal cord stimulation when patients were lying down. In the 13-week crossover study, the patients were randomized to receive this so-called "shuffle" stimulation in four-week blocks. Mean pain scores were lower in the shuffle stimulation, and seven of 11 patients preferred it. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Indicates Sensory Response in Patients With Clinically Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Jan. 31, 2018 - Australian researchers found through fMRI imaging of 23 people with clinically complete spinal cord injury that in 48%, despite a lack of feeling, their brains were registering touch in response to having a paralyzed extremity brushed. The findings could be a basis for developing treatments such as brain computer interfaces or spinal cord stimulation. (Radio Australia)

Study Shows Memory Enhancement from Brain Stimulation of the Lateral Temporal Cortex

Jan. 31, 2018 - A research team reports in Brain on the effect of low-intensity electrical brain stimulation on memory in 22 patients who were undergoing epilepsy monitoring. The subjects were divided into four groups to receive the stimulation in four areas of the brain known to support recall. The four patients who received stimulation to the lateral temporal cortex showed enhanced performance on a memory recall test. (Reliawire)

Review Compares Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 31, 2018 - A review in JAMA Neurology compares deep brain stimulation to the globus pallidus interna and the subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson's disease. The review indicates considerations when one target may be selected over another to take into account specific symptoms and anticipated effects. (MD Magazine)

Article Describes the Role of Neuromodulation With Respect to Chronic Pain and the Opioid Epidemic

Jan. 30, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jon Hagedorn, MD, and Timothy Deer, MD, published an article for an audience of medical trainees about neuromodulation therapy in the management of chronic pain in the context of the current opioid epidemic. (Student Doctor Network)

Study: Neurostimulation Improved Dysphagia Issues in Stroke Patients

Jan. 30, 2018 - A randomized study of 70 stoke patients showed that in 58% of the treated patients, 3 - 6 courses of daily electrical stimulation to the back of their throat enabled removal of their tracheotomy tube sooner, which had been placed due to swallowing difficulties causing pooling of saliva or aspiration pneumonia. A follow-on trial, PHEED, will study the device (Phagenyx by Phagenesis Ltd.) in stroke patients who have not been admitted to intensive care and are in a general rehabilitation ward. (Medscape)

Neurostimulation Feasibility Study Addresses Bladder Control in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Jan. 29, 2018 - A pilot neurostimulation feasibility study in five male patients who have spinal cord injury and neurogenic detrusor overactivity was conducted to inform design of a long-term clinical trial to evaluate sustained use of the approach. Electrical stimulation of the genital nerve, the terminal branch of the pudendal nerve, can acutely inhibit reflex bladder contractions, which are associated with these subjects' continence disorder, and increase bladder capacity. The feasibility study involved one month of at-home treatment with a portable, non-invasive device. (Uro Today)

Article Recounts a Case of a Parkinson's Disease Patient Who Recently Received Deep Brain Stimulation in India

Jan. 28, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paresh Doshi, MBBS, MS (General Surgery), MCh (Neurosurgery), was quoted in an article about a patient who received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Prof. Doshi was quoted as saying that it was the first time he has seen a patient immediately regain coherent speech after the surgery. (Hindustan Times)

Study Finds Benefit for Spinal Cord Stimulation in Critical Limb Ischemia

Jan. 26, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jung-Tung Liu, MD, PhD and colleagues have published a retrospective case-controlled 12-month study in 78 patients to identify the benefits and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as a therapeutic strategy for patients with perfusion problems from critical limb ischemia. After one year, the patients who had received SCS improved and had increased microcirculation in the lower limb, while the patients who did not receive it had worsened. The authors concluded SCS should be considered an effective treatment toward limb salvage in critical limb ischemia. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Will Evaluate Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Early Alzheimer's Disease

Jan. 26, 2018 - A research center in Montreal is one of three worldwide to conduct an ongoing study into transcranial magnetic stimulation in early to mid-stage Alzheimer's disease. The treatment is intended to aid thinking and memory. (CTV News Montreal)

Researchers Pursue an Implantable Drug-Delivery System for the Brain

Jan. 24, 2018 - Researchers at MIT are working on an implantable system to deliver medications to brain structures through hollow leads, detecting how electrical activity of targeted neurons change as the medication is delivered. The device includes an implantable reservoir, and has been demonstrated in small animal models of Parkinson's disease. (Washington Post)

Researchers Demonstrate Quick, Intuitive Calibration for Brain Computer Interface

Jan.24, 2018 - Three people with tetraplegia were able to use the BrainGate brain machine interface (BCI) to control a cursor with their thoughts in three minutes or less after one simple calibration step, according to newly published research in the Journal of Neural Engineering. International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, commented in news coverage of the work that a new participant, who was able to move a cursor around a screen within 37 seconds, performed as well as others who had been using the system for months or years. The calibration used statistical learning algorithms to decode the patients' intent as they imagined physically moving the cursor. The article said this development holds promise for future users and caregivers to more easily use a BCI, removing the need for technician oversight of calibration. (Science Daily)

U.S. Department of Defense Grant to Support Research Into Brain Stimulation for Functional Recovery

Jan. 24, 2018 - A researcher who has tracked brain activity during recovery of a patient who received a hand transplant after an accident has received a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study whether non-invasive brain stimulation can enhance nerve recovery during rehabilitation. (Health Imaging)

March Deadline Announced for Neuromodulation Research Prize for Early Career Investigators

January 2018 - The deadline for the 2018 Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is March 15, 2018. Entrants must be a junior investigator, with an advanced degree received in the last 10 years, who are 45 years old or younger and who submit research they performed or directed in the last three years. The application requires an essay that describes the work's implication for the field of neuromodulation. (Science)

University Team Works to Add Sensory Feedback to Prosthetic Limbs

Jan. 14, 2018 - Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are working on adding sensory feedback to existing prosthetic limbs through functional electrical stimulation. A processor module calibrates and scales information from six sensors, and translates the information into a stimulation pattern that can be relayed to existing stimulator systems to provide somatosensory feedback. The project, uHaptic, aims to standardize attachment of peripherals and streamline communication between sensors and feedback delivery systems. (Medstro)

Collaboration Announced on Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation System

January 2018 - The Wyss Center and CorTec GmbH announced a collaboration to develop a brain monitoring and stimulation device for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. An implanted component consists of neural electrodes along with an electronic unit that communicates wirelessly with an external power/telemetry system, which in turn communicates with a computer. The computer records data and autonomously controls the application. (CorTec)

Study Evaluates 12-Month Data on Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients with Tourette Syndrome

Jan. 16, 2018 - A study of 171 patients with Tourette syndrome in a prospective international registry found that one year after undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS), their average tic severity improved by 45%. The overall registry includes 185 patients from 10 countries who underwent DBS from 2012 through 2016. A paper in JAMA Neurology concludes the intervention was associated with symptomatic improvement in patients who have medically refractory Tourette syndrome, but also with stimulation-related adverse events that were likely reversible. (MD Magazine)

Interview Focuses on Recent Evolution of Neurostimulation in Trigeminal Neuralgia

Jan. 16, 2017 - In an interview about the prospects for peripheral nerve stimulation in trigeminal neuralgia, a physician says new data that are beginning to show optimizing settings of spinal cord stimulators may lead to better outcomes and quality of life for many pain patients may be applicable to peripheral nerve stimulation as well. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Non-invasive Brain Machine Interface Study Suggests Potential for Post-Stroke Rehabilitation of Hand Paralysis

Jan. 15, 2018 - Research in the Journal of Neuroscience describes a demonstration in healthy subjects of a non-invasive brain machine interface that could potentially aid in physical rehabilitation of hand paralysis in stroke patients. The interface combines a robotic device controlling hand movement with transcranial magnetic stimulation to the motor cortex. The research demonstrated increased output of neural pathways connecting the brain and spinal cord. (Medical Xpress)

Case Report: Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Migraine Associated with Reduction in Epileptic Seizures

January 2018 - A case report describes how an epileptic patient who receive occipital nerve stimulation for intractable migraine experienced unexpected seizure reduction, with seizure-free periods between two episodes of lead migration requiring revision. (Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine)

Responsive Neurostimulator Data Reveal Seizure-Prone Monthly Cycles in Patients with Epilepsy

Jan. 8, 2018 - Data gathered from responsive neurostimulator implants in 37 epilepsy patients, for a median of 2.25 years, show that the patients have both daily cycles in seizure risk, but also longer cycles of rising and falling brain irritability that lasts weeks or months. The researchers published in Nature Communications an analysis that indicates seizure risk is almost seven times greater when the most seizure-prone periods of those cycles overlap. (Science Daily)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Studied in Bipolar Depression

Jan. 4, 2017 - An investigator in Brazil published in JAMA Psychiatry results of a controlled clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation in bipolar patients. The study of 52 patients showed that a series of active stimulation sessions during a major depressive episode resulted in 67.6% becoming responders, and 37.4% experiencing remission. In contrast, sham treatment led to a 30.4% responder rate and 19.1% entering remission. (Psych Congress Network)

Magazine Highlights Brain Computer Interface Research

Jan. 4, 2018 - A comprehensive technology feature summarizes recent research into brain computer interfaces. The article says 13 people have been implanted since 2004 with the BrainGate system, designed to provide a degree of intentional movement to people who have been paralyzed, allowing them to complete simple tasks, such as moving a cursor or controlling a limb. (The Economist)

Prototype Portable Prosthetic Hand Provides a Sense of Touch

Jan. 3, 2018 - Scientists in Italy unveiled a prototype prosthetic hand that provides a sense of touch using electronics that are compact enough to fit in a backpack. A patient who used the device for six months was able to distinguish between hard and soft objects while blindfolded, and to use the prosthetic for tasks in which having the tactical feedback is helpful, such as dressing, she said. (BBC News)

Study: Occipital Nerve Stimulation is Potentially Safe and Effective in Refractory Cervicogenic Headache

Jan. 3, 2018 - An article that appeared online Nov. 27, 2017 in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface reported a retrospective chart review of 16 patients who were treated with occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for their daily, moderate-to-severe, refractory cervicogenic headaches. The patients were followed for three years; at one year, 69% were considered responders, and at three years, 37.5% were. (Neurology Advisor)

Translational Study Shows Potential Promise to Address Tinnitus Through Bimodal Stimulation

Jan. 3, 2018 - A double-blinded, sham-controlled, crossover clinical study of bimodal stimulation in adults with tinnitus provided evidence to support a larger clinical trial, according to an interview with the researcher. The approach combines sound and skin stimulation in an intent to target nerve activity in the brain. Animal studies established that phantom sounds are signaled to the brain through fusiform cells. (U.S. News and World Report)

Article: U.K. Experts Call for Neuromodulation to Be More Widely Available through the National Health Service

Jan. 1, 2018 - International Neuromodulation Society members Serge Nikolic, MD and Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP were quoted in an article about a chronic pain patient who received spinal cord stimulation after 40 years of trying other methods. The article quoted Dr. Nikolic as saying he believes the therapy is cost-effective. Dr. Thomson described wait times under the current National Health Service referral scheme, saying more patients would benefit than are receiving the devices. (Daily Mail)

Article Highlights Neuromodulation as an Option That Is an Alternative to Opioids

Dec. 26, 2017 - In an article that calls neurostimulation a once-overlooked option for people with debilitating nerve pain, International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, was quoted about spinal cord stimulation as an alternative to opioids. He said neuromodulation reduces the need to go on opioids and the risk of opioid dependence. (Bloomberg)

Journal Publishes Updated Guidelines About Bleeding Risk From Regional Anesthesia Procedures

Dec. 22, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members David Provenzano, MD; José De Andres, MD; Timothy Deer, MD; Richard Rauck, MD; Marc A. Huntoon, MD; and colleagues published joint anticoagulation guidelines from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the European Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the International Neuromodulation Society, the North American Neuromodulation Society, and the World Institute of Pain that stratify the risk of bleeding during regional anesthesia procedures, such as neurostimulator implantation. (Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine)

Researchers Investigate Possible Brain "Switch" for Impulsive Behavior

Dec. 19, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Casey Halpern, MD and colleagues published deep brain stimulation research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that suggests responsive stimulation might be developed to avert risky impulsive behavior. They report they identified a "high-delta" electrical signature in the nucleus accumbens that precedes impulsive behavior, such as mice binge-eating fatty food, or a patient performing computerized tasks that yielded a cash reward. The human subject consented to participate in the study while undergoing implantation of the deep brain stimulation system for obsessive compulsive disorder. The authors demonstrated that pulsed stimulation to the mice's nucleus accumbens when an electrode array sensed an increase in delta intensity reduced the binge-feeding behavior. (Medical Xpress)

Study: Amygdala Stimulation Enhanced Memory Recall 24 Hours Later

Dec. 18, 2017 - A memory study in 14 patients with epilepsy showed that stimulation of the amygdala helped convert short-term memories to long-term ones. (IEEE Spectrum)

Clinical Trial: Brain Stimulation Target Showed Promise in Reducing Hallucinations in Parkinson's Disease Dementia

Dec. 18, 2017 - A short interview summarizes a recent double-blind, crossover trial in which six patients with Parkinson's disease dementia received low frequency stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert. In the trial, there was little evidence of benefit in global cognition, but visual hallucinations reduced. The study was published in JAMA Neurology. (MedicalResearch.com)

U.S.University Participates in Neuromodulation Forum in Central China

Dec. 18, 2017 - The University of Kentucky announced that a group from its Brain Restoration center concluded a conference series at a number of Chinese university hospitals by performing the first deep brain stimulation surgery for a Parkinson's disease patient that was carried out at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University in Henan, China. (University of Kentucky)

Article Highlights Devices as Potentially Helping Combat the Opioid Crisis

Dec. 18, 2017 - Three of seven devices in an article about combating the opioid crisis are implanted neurostimulation systems. (Medical Design and Outsourcing)

Article Calls for Moving Non-Opioid Treatments Earlier in the Pain Therapy Continuum

Dec. 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, offers a perspective on factors leading to overprescribing of opioids in the United States. He stresses the importance of including interventional strategies in a pain treatment algorithm before problems develop. (Pain Medicine News)

A Bioelectric Medicine Approach Will Be Explored for Reducing Pain from Lupus

Dec. 17, 2017 - Researchers announced a pilot study to treat the pain of lupus by administering five minutes of electrical stimulation through the ear daily for four days. The stimulation is intended to inhibit the inflammatory reflex. (Patch.com)

One-Year Results Published in the Use of Neurostimulation to Address Chronic Mechanical Low Back Pain

Dec. 15, 2017 - Investigators conducted an international, prospective, single-arm trial of a new neurostimulation approach for chronic mechanical low back pain, designed to periodically contract the lumbar multifidus that helps to stabilize the lower spine. The authors reported one-year results on 53 subjects in the study. They conclude the data showed "clinically important, statistically significant, and lasting improvement" in pain, disability, and quality of life. Meanwhile, a new review presents evidence for the role of the lumbar multifidus muscle in chronic low back pain. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Give Interviews about Presentations Concerning High Frequency Stimulation for Abdominal and Other Pain

Dec. 14, 2017 -  International Neuromodulation Society member Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, was interviewed by an industry publication about his presentation of a feasibility study about high frequency spinal cord stimulation for treating chronic abdominal pain. He presented the study at the annual meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. At the same meeting, INS member Kasha Amirdelfan, MD, was interviewed about presenting preliminary 12-month results of a single-arm study of high frequency stimulation in upper limb and axial neck pain. (SmartTRAK)

Researchers Compare Neural Deficits in Autism and a Mouse Model, and Show Brain Stimulation Partially Reverses Behavioral Symptoms in the Mice

Dec. 13, 2017 - Researchers used neuromodulation to show that people and mice have similar connections between the Right Crus I domain of the cerebellum and the inferior parietal lobule of the cortex. In brain imaging, they said, those connections are disrupted in a mouse model of autism and in a cohort of autistic children. Brain stimulation in the mice reversed aspects of the abnormal behavior that arose when the connection was disrupted. The work was published in Nature Neuroscience. (NewsMedical.net)

Pain Management Experts Provide Perspectives on Neuromodulation

Dec. 14, 2017 - In a health awareness article that appears in the Guardian, International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, describes growing excitement about neuromodulation therapy for managing symptoms of long-term disease, and new and more tailored forms of neuromodulation therapy. Due to the potential of neuromodulation to improve quality of life, he said, awareness should grow among patients and their clinicians. In the same news supplement, INS member Tacson Fernandez, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, described a case in which spinal cord stimulation provided pain relief to a patient who had suffered brachial plexus injury in a motorcycle accident years before. (Media Planet)

Man with a Metabolic Condition that Impaired Motor Function Undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation

Dec. 11, 2017 - A television segment describes the gradual improvement of a young man with a rare genetic condition, Pank 2, that causes iron accumulation in the brain, disrupting motor function. Nine months ago, about five years after his symptoms began, he became one of about two dozen people with the disorder to try deep brain stimulation. (Fox 5 Atlanta)

Researchers Study the Effect of Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Dec. 11, 2017 - An article describes a feasibility study at the University of Louisville School of Medicine to "measure the extent to which epidural stimulation will improve cardiovascular function as well as facilitate the ability to stand and voluntarily control leg movements" in people with spinal cord injury. (SurfKY)

A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial Compared Pulse Rate Outcomes in Spinal Cord Stimulation for Back Pain

Dec. 8, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS; Moein Tavakkolizadeh, MD; Sarah Love-Jones, MBBS; and colleagues published results of a randomized, crossover study of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for back pain, Evaluation of Spinal Cord Stimulation Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes (PROCO). They found that, with appropriate titration of pulse width and amplitude, there is Level I evidence of equivalent pain relief from SCS at frequencies from 1 to 10 kHz. Stimulation at 1kHz required 60-70% less charge than higher frequencies. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

 Article Considers Non-Invasive Neurostimulation to Potentially Address Organ Function

Dec. 7, 2017 - An article touches upon preclinical studies that may lead to treating diabetes through stimulating the pancreas via the vagus nerve. The article cites a review in Trends in Molecular Medicine about transdermal nerve stimulation to potentially control immune and organ functions. (Healthline)

In a Sham-Controlled Study, Neurostimulation Reduced Abdominal Pain in Adolescents and Teens

Dec. 6, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, commented in Pain Medicine News on a study of percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation to treat pain from functional gastrointestinal disorders in children aged 11 - 18. The sham-controlled study of 115 children, reported in The Lancet, found that the treatment group sustained improvement in pain scores, compared to sham, during four weeks of treatment. Dr. Deer said basic science work may help elucidate underlying mechanisms, while identifying subsets of responders could increase therapeutic efficiency. (Pain Medicine News)

Brain-Stimulation Study Implicates Bromann Area 25 in Blood Pressure Control

Dec. 6, 2017 - A case series of 12 patients undergoing epilepsy and blood-pressure monitoring at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center found decreased systolic blood pressure associated with electrical stimulation of Brodmann area 25, the rostral subcallosal neocortex. Researchers would like to identify the brain site involved in maintaining blood pressure since it may be inhibited during seizures. Hypotension from peri-octal autonomic dysregulation is thought to be a factor in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. (2 Minute Medicine)

Long-Term Data Presented About Responsive Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

Dec. 5, 2017 - Adjunctive neurostimulation with a device that monitors and responds to brain activity led to sustained seizure reduction at eight years in three-fourths of the epilepsy patients who use it, according to data presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting. The device was approved by the FDA for adults with refractory partial-onset seizures who have one or two epileptogenic foci. In addition, almost one-third of the recipients had one or more 6-month-long seizure-free periods. (Medscape)

Feature Article Details Experiences of Woman With Epilepsy Who Is Treated With Neurostimulation

Dec. 5, 2017 - In a news feature, a young woman describes how she has been affected by epilepsy, and her experiences with neurostimulation, including receiving a cortical implant that monitors and responds to brain activity. (News Enterprise-Record)

Television Segment Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Alternative to Pain Medication

Dec. 6, 2017 - A news segment features a woman in chronic pain from a leg injury, who describes how spinal cord stimulation improved her function and quality of life. She says she would like people to know that prescription medication is not the only answer. In the segment, an explanation of the system was provided by International Neuromodulation Society member Youssef Josephson, DO. (CBS News)

Article Summarizes Study of Neuromodulation for Painful Neuropathy from Leprosy

Dec. 5, 2017 - An article summarizes a report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, in which International Neuromodulation Society member Tiago Freitas and colleagues provide 12-month follow-up data on 10 patients in a prospective case series who received spinal cord stimulation to treat painful mononeuropathy, secondary to leprosy, which was refractive to conservative treatment. In addition to experiencing reductions in baseline pain scores, the patients reduced their pain medication by 40% from preoperative levels. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Researchers to Explore Infrared Stimulation to Potentially Modulate Autonomic Nervous System Conditions

Dec. 5, 2017 - Researchers from Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Pittsburgh received a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop enhanced infrared neuromodulation to potentially treat conditions of the autonomic nervous system. The researchers will study the effects of this stimulation on such nerve structures as the nodose ganglion, which connects through the vagus nerve to a number of organs to manage their physiological function. (Photonics Media)

Publisher Provides INS Members Access to an Enhanced Database of Neuromodulation Products

November 2017 - Neurotech Reports announced it is enhancing its Database of Neuromodulation Products, which is available to members of the International Neuromodulation Society through their website member portal. The database contains information on existing and emerging products in a number of product categories, including spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation, leads, power supplies, and many others. Users can search by product category, company name, or medical condition. The database reports details such as approval status, reimbursement, and product description. (Neurotech Reports)

Team Plans a Study to Potentially Restore Some Movement After Spinal Cord Injury

Dec. 4, 2017 - An anticipated study in Australia will to try to restore hand function in patients with quadriplegia. The new project begins in January. A researcher who led similar research in the U.S., Prof. Reggie Edgerton of the University of California, Los Angeles, will join the effort part-time. Upon receiving ethics approval, the team anticipates enrolling spinal cord injury patients in July. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Development of a Sub-Millimeter Scale Wireless Neural Stimulator

Nov. 27, 2017 - A team has published data about a proof-of-concept, sub-millimeter-scale stimulator that might enable nerve-cuff peripheral nerve stimulation or wireless deep brain stimulation. The paper covers analytical and computational modeling, and use of a working prototype to elicit a motor response in the sciatic nerve of a rat. The authors say their device, with a compact polymer-based encapsulation, "consists only of an antenna to receive inductive power, a diode for rectification, and two electrodes" to deliver current to neurons. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Data in Animals Showed Heart Rate Variability Reversibly Suppressed by Optogenetic Means

December 2017 - An optogenetic study in beagles showed that illumination with a laser-emitting diode led to decreased indices of heart rate variability weeks after an inhibitory light-sensitive opsin was delivered to neurons in the left stellate ganglion, whose suppression protects against ventricular arrhyhimias. A 14-minute audio file describes the study. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology)

Small Study Demonstrates Pain Relief From Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

Nov. 29, 2017 - In an open-label study of patients with peripheral neuropathic pain from polyneuropathy, posterior tibial nerve stimulation was evaluated for pain relief. Eight patients had six stimulation sessions spaced about three or four days apart. Their pain was reduced by 85.5% at the end of the period. Six of the patients had more than 50% decrease after the first stimulation session and 99.2% after the final session. (Journal of Pain Research)

Analysis: Suspending Anticoagulant Use Did Not Increase Risk of Adverse Events from Spinal Cord Stimulation Implantation or Revision

Nov. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Julie Pilitis, MD, PhD, Vishad Sukul, MD, and colleagues published a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database of 225 spinal cord stimulation patients. The analysis included 43 patients who had been on at least one anticoagulant, and assessed the safety of implanting or revising spinal cord stimulators after anticoagulant medication was suspended. Suspension had been recommended by the 2017 guidelines of the Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. The analysis found that anticoagulant use "as a whole" had no significant relationship to 13 adverse events recorded within 90 days of surgery. The authors conclude suspension did not comparatively increase risk of bleeding or blood clots. (Pain Medicine)

Study: Low-Frequency Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease May Improve Cognitive Deficit

Nov. 28, 2017 - Simple cognitive tests performed during deep brain stimulation surgery, and after recovery, indicate that cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease may be lessened with low frequency stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus at 4 Hz, which researchers say restores delta wave activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. A published study that involved evoked responses and functional mapping indicates there may be a single, direct synaptic connection between these regions. (Medical Express)

New Neuroscience Institute May Explore Neurostimulation as a Potential Treatment for Addiction

Nov. 25, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, gave an interview as director of the new West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. He said researchers there would like to start trials next year for deep brain stimulation in addicts who have failed other treatments. Initially, they would like to potentially address severe alcoholism. (News-Register)

Researchers Describe Early Stage Studies to Potentially Use Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation for Mood Disorders

Nov. 22, 2017 - An article describes current research exploring if intermittent stimulation might be a therapeutic approach for mood disorders, in work with emerging closed-loop deep brain stimulation systems that might address depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The research is funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Nature)

Bioelectronic Medicine Researchers Investigate Delaying Preterm Labor

Nov. 21, 2017 - A research team won $500,000 to investigate potentially delaying preterm delivery by delivering electrical stimulation through a belt-like device. The concept also calls for administering antenatal steroids to enhance the infant's lung maturity. (Innovate Long Island)

Study Evaluates Outcomes of Combining Psychotherapy and Brain Stimulation

Nov. 17, 2017 - A study in the Netherlands of 196 patients with major depressive disorder found that combining cognitive behavioral therapy and 10 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation resulted in a 66% response rate and a 56% remission rate at the end of treatment, with 60% sustained remission at follow-up. (Vision)

Presentation: Neurostimulation for Dry Eye Disease Improved All Tear Layers Over Time

Nov. 14, 2017 - Electrical stimulation of the intranasal tear reflex for dry eye disease was studied in two large pivotal multicenter clinical studies. The studies of the hand-held prototype showed gradual production of all three layers of tear film that results in healing of the eye surface, according to a presenter at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. (Medpage Today)

Brain Stimulation Study Reveals Brain-Inhibition Imbalance in Genetic Condition

Nov. 14, 2017 - Brain-stimulation research showing an imbalance in inhibition and excitation in people with fragile X syndrome, which often has some features of autism, lends support to the idea that autism and related conditions may be associated with decreased inhibition in the brain. (Spectrum)

Study: Stimulation Via Capsaicin Swab of Ear Canal Improved Dysphagia in Elderly

Nov. 13, 2017 - In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, comparative study of 20 elderly patients with difficulty swallowing, swallowing scores improved in the10 who received 0.025% capsaicin ointment swabbed on the external auditory canal. The authors say capsaicin is an agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, and that improvement in glottal closure and cough reflexes especially may be due to that receptor mediating aural stimulation of the vagal Arnold's nerve. (Clinical Interventions in Aging)

Researchers Present Work to Address Dyskinesia Using Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation With Motor Cortex Electrocorticography

Nov. 12, 2017 - In two Parkinson's disease patients, the feasibility of closed-loop adjustment of deep brain stimulation to address dyskinesia, using motor cortex electrocorticography, was demonstrated during adjustment sessions of 10-60 minutes. The study was mentioned in a news release that summarized several presentations at the Society for Neuroscience meeting concerning brain stimulation treatment and research. (Society for Neuroscience)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improved Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Nov. 7, 2017 - A randomized, single-blind pilot study in 43 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis showed improvements in gait and balance, compared to sham, in patients who received 12 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over four weeks along with intensive rehabilitation. (Medscape)

Academic Medical Center in West Virginia Plans to Add Brain Stimulation to Addiction Treatment

Nov. 13, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, was featured in a news item from the Associated Press that says addictions treatment will be expanded next year to include brain stimulation techniques at West Virginia University Medicine. He is the new director of the university's Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. (U.S. News & World Report)

Neuroscience Meeting Sees a Rise in Research Presentations About Mental Health Applications  

Nov. 12, 2017 - A radio interview from the Society for Neuroscience discusses how the fields of brain science and mental health are merging through new insights and capabilities to understand circuit disorders and the underlying science. (NPR)

Study Confirms Usefulness of Telemedicine for Remote Deep Brain Stimulation Patients

Nov. 9, 2017 - A retrospective study of deep brain stimulation patients and candidates who used the Ontario Telemedicine Network due to living far from services confirmed it is a feasible and useful approach for assessing patients. The authors suggest combining it with in-person visits, such as for battery replacement and surgery. (Movement Disorders)

Research Project Involves Using Optogenetics for a Visual Prosthesis

Nov. 9, 2017 - A program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, DARPA, involves the French research laboratory Leti, which is developing a wireless, implantable system called CorticalSight to stimulate ontogenetically modified neurons in the visual cortex using light. (Electronics Weekly)

Clinicians Report Use of a 3D Printed Guiding Device to Facilitate Sacral Neuromodulation Implantation

Nov. 7, 2017 - Clinicians in China report on creation of a customized novel 3D printed guiding device for electrode implantation of sacral neuromodulation. They say it allowed placing the test needle successfully on the first attempt, and that implanting a tined electrode took less than 20 minutes with no complications. The two patients, who had intractable constipation, experienced symptom improvement of more than 50% during the screening phase, and received a permanent implant. (Colorectal Disease)

Comparative Study in Back-Pain Patients Finds Conventional or High-Frequency Stimulation Yielded Similar Scores at One Year Followup

Nov. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jose De Andres, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a comparative prospective, randomized, blind effect-on-outcome study comparing conventional and high-frequency spinal cord stimulation. After one year, assessments in 55 patients showed similar, significant global average reduction in scores. (Pain Medicine)

Lifetime Analysis of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression Finds It Cost-Effective After One Medication Failure

Oct. 26, 2017 - An analysis concludes that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation provides lower costs with better outcomes, with direct costs and quality adjusted life years ranging from $2,952/0.32 to $11,140/0.43 for younger patients. The authors say their results support the use of the therapy after a single failed antidepressant medication trial. (PLoS ONE)

Opinion Piece Says It's Time to Embrace New Pain Treatments

Nov. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, wrote an opinion article that says interventional pain therapies, by targeting the parts of the body that generate chronic pain, could help to eliminate patients' desire for opioids. (Newsweek)

Authors Conclude Sacral Neuromodulation in Teen-Agers and Adolescents May Be Cost-Effective for Chronic, Refractory Constipation

Nov. 1, 2017 - A modeling study based on data from 27 patients followed for a median of 22 months concluded that in children and adolescents aged 10 18 years old who have chronic refractory constipation, sacral neuromodulation can be a cost-effective option compared to continued conservative management. (Colorectal Disease)

Study Explores Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Address Chronic Pain

Nov. 5, 2017 - An article describes a clinical trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation for chronic pain at the Medical University of South Carolina. (Post and Courier)

Australian Clinical Trial Will Explore Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients Who Have Daily Epilepsy Attacks

Nov. 5, 2017 - A double-blinded clinical trial at the University of Melbourne will explore deep brain stimulation to the thalamus in up to 20 patients who have a type of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The childhood-onset condition causes daily attacks, and interferes with learning. The study is supported through a $1 million grant from Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council. (Herald Sun)

Article Describes Possible Advantages of Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 3, 2017 - A clinical trial of 69 deep brain stimulation (DBS) patients at Oregon Health & Science University compared awake vs. asleep DBS was reported to show better outcomes in communication, cognition and speech -- possibly because the asleep approach relies on imaging and so does not require using multiple probes to map the trajectory and target location through microelectrode recordings. (Portland Business Journal)

Pediatric Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Receive Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator

Nov. 2, 2017 - A case series of six adolescents who have Down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea showed implantation of hypoglossal nerve stimulators was well tolerated and effective. The article says the pediatric patients, aged 12 - 18, were the first children to have the implant. (The JAMA Network)

Research Collaboration Will Explore Nerve Block Technology for Autonomic Nervous System

Nov. 2, 2017 - An article says that a stimulation method currently being used by Neuros Medical Inc. to block pain, which relies on a combined waveform of AC/DC currents across different time frames, may also help treat asthma and heart failure through research at Case Western Reserve University, with collaborators from the University of California at Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University. A news release says the project received a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. (Medical Design & Outsourcing)

In Clinical Trial, Spinal Cord Stimulation at Different Frequencies Delivered Equivalent Pain Relief

Nov. 2, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS, and Timothy Deer, MD, were quoted in an article about the presentation of research results from Dr. Thomson's PROCO (Evaluation of Spinal Cord Stimulation Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes) clinical trial at the INS 13th World Congress in June 2017. Results of the double-blind, crossover study in 20 pain patients showed equivalent pain relief using spinal cord stimulation frequencies from 1 kHz to 10 kHz. Commentators called for additional, expanded study, and Dr. Deer pointed out neurostimulation can lower the need for opioid medication. (Pain Medicine News)

Research into Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression Discussed at National Institutes of Health Workshop

Oct. 31, 2017 - At a meeting on ethical dilemmas of brain stimulation research, experts discussed issues such as the 44 patients from a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation for depression who opted to leave their implants in place, but must cover the costs of maintaining the device or surgery to replace the pulse generator. (Science)

Australian Healthcare System Will Add Coverage for Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Epilepsy

Oct. 31, 2017 - The Australian government approved recommendations from the independent Medical Services Advisory Committee which include access to six vagus nerve stimulation items for epilepsy patients. (Brisbane Times)

Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation Aided Physical Rehabilitation After Paralysis

Oct. 30, 2017 - A paraplegic man who combined epidural spinal cord stimulation with intensive rehabilitation therapy twice a day regained his ability to stand independently for periods of time, despite the loss of motor function in his legs following his injury. (Daily Mail)

Review Summarizes Evidence for Sacral Nerve Stimulation Following Surgery for Colon Disorders

Oct. 30, 2017 - A systematic review covers three papers about sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence in patients who have had ileal pouch anal anastomosis for inflammatory bowel disease or other disorders. (Updates in Surgery)

Study Examines Factors That May Aid Patient Selection for Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitis, MD, PhD, and colleagues report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface on 86 patients who were followed for 12 months after spinal cord stimulation. The team found correlations in the 22% of patients whose pain was reduced at least 80% at one year. These remitters had greater reductions in the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and Oswestry Disability Index. On the other hand, patients who had pre-operative disability and opioid use were less likely to show remission. (MDLinx)

Article Summarizes Brain-Computer Interface Development

Oct. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, is mentioned in an article about the potential therapeutic promise of brain-machine interfaces that can essentially listen to, and "speak," the brain's language. (Parkinson's News Today)

Neurostimulation is Featured in Articles on Neuropsychiatry

Oct. 24, 2017 - A special report on neuropsychiatry includes an article on informed consent process for transcranial direct current stimulation, as well as others on deep brain stimulation for memory deficits and on transcranial magnetic stimulation and schizophrenia. (Psychiatric Times)

Grant Enables Research Into Neuroethics of Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Therapies

Oct. 24, 2017 - A four-year, $1.9 million grant from the NIH BRAIN Initiative will support research into neuroethical implications of adaptive deep brain stimulation technologies, which use signals from the brain to adjust stimulation in real time. The researchers will follow 10 patients from five collaborating research studies. (Baylor College of Medicine)

Stimulation Study Pinpoints Area Linked to Recall of Distinct Memory

Oct. 24, 2017 - Memory tests on 13 people who were undergoing epilepsy monitoring showed that stimulating the right side of the brain’s entorhinal area, but not the left, improved subjects' ability to recognize specific faces and ignore similar ones. (UCLA)

Man With Rare Disease Has Reduced Dystonia Symptoms After Deep Brain Stimulation

Oct. 24, 2017 - Following deep brain stimulation, severe dystonia symptoms improved in a young man whose rare genetic degenerative brain disease led to iron build-up and dystonia that interfered with his ability to speak. (WXIA)

Vestibular Nerve Stimulation Targets Balance Impairment

Oct. 20, 2017 - A safety and efficacy clinical trial of a vestibular nerve stimulator to restore balance has shown good preliminary results, according to an investigator at Johns Hopkins. Results are available from the first three of five eventual enrollees. Their balance issues stem from inner ear damage that developed during a course of life-saving antibiotics. In the trial, stimulation is delivered in one ear through a modified cochlear implant that responds to data from an externally worn gyroscope. The developers anticipate potentially commercializing the device later through the spinoff company Labyrinth Devices. (IEEE Spectrum)

Interagency Working Group Produces U.S. Federal Pain Research Strategy

Oct. 20, 2017 - The NIH Office of Pain Policy has released a Federal Pain Research Strategy. The strategy prioritizes research recommendations concerning both acute and chronic pain. (NIH)

Article Advises Emergency Medicine Providers About Issues That Deep Brain Stimulation Patients May Present

October 2017 - An article alerts emergency medicine providers to be alert to potential complications involving deep brain stimulation implants. (Emergency Medicine News)

Article Covers Recent Push Toward Alternatives to Opioids for Chronic Pain

Oct. 21, 2017 - An article presents neuromodulation as an alternative to opioids to treat chronic pain. It quotes International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD; Richard Vaglienti, MD; and Allen Burton, MD about the long-term cost efficacy of neuromodulation. The article cites the 2016 INS fact sheet on spinal cord stimulation and quotes a U.S. health insurance industry representative, who said reimbursement is considered on a case-by-case basis. (Business Insider)

Team Studies Effect of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Appetite

Oct. 18, 2017 - A study of 21 people with obesity found that longer periods of transcranial direct current stimulation reduced hunger and snack food intake, but shorter term stimulation, such as 3 sessions, had no effect relative to sham. In the study, active-treatment subjects received anodal stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for a maximum of 15 sessions. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Start-Up Surpasses Fundraising Goal for Neurostimulator Device Intended to Aid Weight Loss

Oct. 17, 2017 - The start-up Neurovalens has raised $1.5 million, which was reportedly more than 3,000% of its goal, for research and development of its non-invasive vestibular nerve stimulator that the company aims to apply to weight loss. (MobiHealthNews)

Article Profiles Research Into Brain-Computer Interfaces

Oct. 17, 2017 - An article about brain-computer interfaces discusses research into applications for prosthetics, vision, gait, and potentially epilepsy or stroke. Among the people interviewed is International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University who is collaborating on neural prosthetics. (Stanford)

Study in Australia Examines Impact of Non-Invasive Stimulation on Balance of Stroke Survivors

Oct. 15, 2017 - A two-week controlled pilot study in Australia in 10 stroke survivors showed that non-invasive stimulation through a device placed on the tongue improved balance when combined with physical rehabilitation therapy. (Herald Sun)

Clinical Research Abstract Raises Possibility of Mitigating Stimulation Tolerance Through Closed-Loop Paradigm

Oct. 3, 2017 - A scientific abstract by International Neuromodulation Society member Marc Russo, MD presents six-month data on 36 patients who were implanted with a closed-loop spinal cord stimulation system. The system uses evoked compound action potentials to measure the response to stimulus. Through longer term follow-up, the abstract concludes, it may be determined whether this stimulation paradigm helps mitigate the development of stimulation tolerance. (NeuroNews)

Review Analyzes Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina

October 2017 - An analysis of nine randomized controlled trials comprising 364 patients with refractory angina concluded that compared to groups that did not receive spinal cord stimulation (SCS), SCS decreased use of nitrate drugs and increased several indicators of health-related quality of life. The analysis found SCS outcomes compared to those of bypass surgery or revascularization. (Translational Perioperative and Pain Medicine)

Researchers Seek to Predict Response to Occipital Nerve Stimulation

Oct. 10, 2017 -  An article summarizes research published in Cephalalgia in which investigators studied response to occipital nerve stimulation in 100 patients who had migraine and/or headache attacks. They found a greater chance for therapy response among patients with short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks, as well as among patients who had responded previously to a greater occipital nerve block. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

After Initial Case, Observations Find No Link From Deep Brain Stimulation to Weight Loss

October 2017 - Clinicians who had published a deep brain stimulation (DBS) case in 2010 of a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who subsequently lost substantial weight have now observed data on 46 patients who had DBS that targeted the ventral anterior limb of the internal capsule for OCD or depression. The average body-mass index (BMI) of 15 patients who were morbidly obese decreased from 36.8 to 34.6, which was not significant. The average BMI of patients whose weight was normal or overweight increased from 23.8 to 25, which also was not significant. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Project Will Use Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Explore the Basis of Inner Speech

October 2017 - A project at the University of Manchester will use non-invasive brain stimulation to study relationships between the right superior temporal sulcus and the experience of inner speech (which is described as "an audible speech-like experience without hearing actual sounds"). The principal investigator anticipates potential therapeutic applications. (FindAPhD)

Researcher Shows Effects on Adaptive Decision-Making

Oct. 9, 2017 - A study among 90 test subjects, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed the influence of functional connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and lateral prefrontal cortex on executive function. Study subjects improved their adaptive behavior when they received in-phase, theta-frequency, high-definition transcranial alternating current stimulation. With anti-phase stimulation, the performance temporarily worsened. The author said there may be applications in conditions that are associated with less than, or more than, normal connectivity. (Inverse)

Study Compares Awake and Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation in Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 6, 2017 - A single-center comparative six-month study compared outcomes in 30 Parkinson's disease patients who received asleep deep brain stimulation with outcomes of 39 patients who previously underwent awake deep brain stimulation (DBS) by the same surgeon. The authors conclude that motor outcomes of asleep DBS were on par or better than awake DBS and that asleep DBS was associated with superior fluency and quality of life. (Neurology)

In Study, Non-Invasive Stimulation Showed Promise for Migraine

Oct. 6, 2017 - A comparative study of 110 migraineurs who received transcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation, or medication, or sham stimulation, found that the treatment groups had a significantly higher 50% responder rate and lower headache intensity. (Medical News Bulletin)

Group in Finland Examines Incidence of Spinal Cord Stimulation Among Back-Surgery Patients

Oct. 5, 2017 - A team of authors from Finland who sought to estimate the incidence and predictive factors concerning spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in the lower-back surgery cohort at their facility surveyed 814 patients who had received non-traumatic back surgery between 2005 and 2008. Of that group, 21 had received SCS by 2015. The mean waiting time to receive SCS was 65 months (26-93 months). They conclude, "In our region, the SCS treatment is used only for very serious pain conditions. Waiting time is too long and it may be the reason why this treatment option is not offered to all candidates." (Journal of Pain Research)

Newspaper Article Describes Woman's Success Relieving Pain Through Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 5, 2017 - An article describes how a chronic pain patient injured in a horseback riding fall found relief through a burst mode of spinal cord stimulation. Her care was delivered by International Neuromodulation Society member Ganesan Baranidharan, MBBS FRCA FCARCSI, at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in the UK. (Yorkshire Post)

Clinical Trial Compares Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Anti-Depressant Medication

Oct. 5, 2017 - A single-center, double-blind noninferiority trial in 245 adults with unipolar depression compared transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) plus oral placebo to tDCS alone, sham tDCS plus the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor escitalopram, or sham tDCS and oral placebo. In this trial tDCS did not show noninferiority compared to the antidepressant medication over a 10-week period, and was associated with more adverse events, such as skin redness or tinnitus. (Clinical Pharmacist)

Experts Publish Standardized Procedure for Sacral Nerve Stimulation

Oct. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles, PhD was among an international multidisciplinary working party of 10 highly experienced practitioners of sacral neuromodulation (sacral nerve stimulation) who convened two meetings, including a live operating one, to prepare a publication about standardization of the implant procedure to optimize outcomes. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Report Promising Results of Augmentative Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation During Rehabilitation for Treatment-Resistant Hemispatial Neglect

Oct. 4, 2017 - Researchers plan a larger study after seeing that transcranial direct current stimulation augmented rehabilitation of treatment-resistant stroke patients undergoing therapy for hemispatial neglect. (Medical Xpress)

Researchers Investigating Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression Publish an Analysis of Study Results

Oct. 4, 2017 - Data from 90 participants in a six-month double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial confirmed the safety and feasibility of subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Although a futility analysis found no statistically significant antidepressant efficacy, the study authors provide contextual evidence they say "strongly supports further investigation of DBS of the subcallosal cingulate white matter as a potential therapy for treatment-resistant depression, a highly prevalent and disabling medical condition." (The Lancet Psychiatry)

In Study, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Linked to Lower Fatigue in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Oct. 2, 2017 - A controlled study of transcranial direct current stimulation indicates that treatments reduced fatigue experienced by people with multiple sclerosis. The study had 27 subjects who received up to 20 sessions of stimulation over four weeks, for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. (Medical Xpress)

Authors Review Evidence for "Asleep" Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorder

September 2017 - A review of nine studies of 237 patients who have Parkinson's disease or essential tremor and received "asleep" deep brain stimulation without microelectrode recording or intraoperative test stimulation suggests this approach can be performed safely with good outcomes although the authors say the initial findings should be further validated. (World Neurosurgery)

Clinical Team Devises Responsive Deep Brain Stimulation for an Individual with Medically Refractory Tourette Syndrome

Sept. 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Aysegul Gunduz, PhD and colleagues report on designing and implanting a responsive deep brain stimulation system in a patient with medically refractory Tourette syndrome. The stimulating leads were implanted in the centromedian-parafascicular region of the thalamus. After 12 months, the patient's symptoms improved in two scales by 64% and 48%, while the projected mean battery life improved 63.3%. For the device's control signal, the team used a spectral feature in the 5- to 15-Hz band. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Review Examines Experimental Approach for Axial Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Sept. 28, 2017 - Pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation (PPN DBS)  in Parkinson's disease has emerged as an experimental therapy for addressing axial motor deficits of Parkinson's disease that contribute to quality of life and safety issues, such as gait freezing and postural instability. A review by the Movement Disorders Society PPN DBS Working Group, in collaboration with the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, found that less than 100 cases of this intervention have been published. Due to variable and unpredictable results, the authors recommend a multicenter database to track agreed-upon measures, clinical application, and outcomes. (Movement Disorders)

UK News Article Describes Research Into and Access to Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Depression

Oct. 2, 2017 - An article about vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for depression cites five-year findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry from a registry that showed adjunctive VNS had enhanced antidepressant effects compared with treatment as usual. The article adds that VNS is difficult to get in the UK since funding can only be arranged if the specialist appeals to a panel that funds individual requests. (The Guardian)

Neuromodulation Practitioners Join Conversation About Opioid Epidemic

Oct. 1, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Rudy Malayil, MD is quoted in an article about pain treatment beyond opioids. The article says officials have written to insurers to ask for greater access to non-opioid pain management alternatives. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin wrote an open letter to two of the largest U.S. health insurers, and a coalition of 37 U.S. attorneys general also wrote to the head of a U.S. health insurance trade association, citing an article that quotes INS President Timothy Deer, MD about long-term cost savings from more advanced, non-opioid, therapies. (Herald Dispatch)

Parkinson's Disease Patient Gives First-Hand Account of His Deep Brain Stimulation in National News Outlet

Oct. 1, 2017 - A Parkinson's disease patient writes about his decade-long satisfaction with using deep brain stimulation to limit motor symptoms of the disease, as well as challenges from battery depletion, and brings up his earlier appeal for major spending in seeking disease cures. (Washington Post)

Study: Multi-Modal Neurostimulation Is Safe, Effective

Sept. 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD and colleagues have published the results of a multicenter, randomized, unblinded, crossover study that followed 100 chronic pain patients for one year to assess the safety and efficacy of a spinal cord stimulation device that offers a choice of tonic or burst stimulation modes. Patients received one or the other mode for 12 weeks, and then crossed over to the other mode for another 12 weeks. For the remainder of the study period they continued on the mode of their choice. At one year, 68.2% of patients preferred burst stimulation, 23.9% preferred tonic, and 8% had no preference. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

News Coverage Highlights Patient's Increased Function Following Neurostimulation to Manage Chronic Pain

Sept. 28, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Giancarlo Barolat, MD, is quoted in an article about a patient who received neurostimulation for chronic pelvic pain and regained her ability to participate in daily activities, having been homebound and bedridden earlier when she was taking a range of painkillers to try to cope. (KUSA) 

Study Explores Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury

Sept. 28, 2017 - A pilot study of low-intensity transcranial electrical stimulation in six patients with mild traumatic brain injury used magnetoencephalography to investigate neuronal changes after the participants received a passive neurofeedback-based treatment program. The authors say the patients' persistent post-concussive symptoms, and abnormal slow-waves, reduced significantly from the pre-treatment baseline. (Medical Xpress)

Analysis Assesses Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor

Sept. 28, 2017 - Authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of non-invasive brain stimulation in essential tremor say the technique yielded positive treatment effects. (PLoS ONE)

Authors Assess Long-Term Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

Sept. 28, 2017 - Clinicians in Europe published data on deep brain stimulation to the globus pallidus internus (GPi DBS) for disabling isolated idiopathic, inherited, or acquired dystonia. In their report, 61 patients were followed for a median of about 8 years (from one year to more than 20). The authors conclude that GPi DBS is safe and effective for most patients with dystonia. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)

Article Surveys Respiratory System Restoration After Spine Injury, and Potential Role of Spinal Cord Stimulation

September 2017 - An article discusses electrical neuromodulation of the respiratory system after spinal cord injury and concludes that spinal cord stimulation may have relatively broad potential for augmenting and restoring respiratory function, such as breathing or cough, in spine-injured individuals, beyond the capabilities of phrenic nerve stimulation or mechanical ventilation. (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)

Video Interview Summarizes Stroke Research

Sept. 26, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jesse Dawson, MD, was interviewed during the INS 13th World Congress about a double-blind pilot study of vagus nerve stimulation paired with physical rehabilitation for arm weakness following stroke. (SmartTRAK)

Woman's Deafness is Reversed Through Neurostimulation

Sept. 27, 2017 - A woman in Kentucky received an auditory brainstem implant, first recommended in 2009 when type 2 neurofibromatosis tumors damaged her auditory nerves. With treatment now covered by insurance, she received a cochlear implant on her right ear, followed by the auditory brainstem implant, which addresses the auditory nerve damage affecting her left ear. (Winchester Sun)

Patient Recounts Her Satisfaction With a Sacral Nerve Stimulation Implant

Sept. 25, 2017 - A woman in the UK describes receiving sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinance. (Daily Mail)

Study Looks at Longitudinal Costs of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 20, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, and Aladine Elsamadicy, MD and colleagues published a retrospective health economics analysis of 5,328 U.S. patients who received spinal cord stimulation for failed back surgery syndrome. The recipients represented 4.34% of the 122,827 patients who were identified with this indication from 2000 to 2012. Their longitudinal analysis showed that although costs climbed the year of implantation, they fell 68% compared to conventional medical management the next year, and an average of 40% annually after that, at 1, 3, 6 and 9 years. (Pain Physician)

Article Says Vagus Nerve Stimulation Helped Patient Gain Minimally Conscious State

Sept. 25, 2017 - A patient in France was brought to a minimally conscious state by use of vagus nerve stimulation after entering a vegetative state following an accident. (New Scientist)

Primer on Opioids Mentions Spinal Cord Stimulation as a Treatment Alternative

Sept. 18, 2017 - An article on "the top five things to know about opioids" mentions spinal cord stimulation as an advanced pain treatment alternative that can provide sustained pain relief. (Mountain Grove News-Journal)

Study: Non-Invasive Stimulation Reduced Pain After Migraines Began

Sept. 18, 2017 - A presentation at the 18th Congress of the International Headache Society on 57 patients who have participated in a randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial for acute migraine suggests that external trigeminal nerve stimulation can reduce pain of the attacks even three or more hours after an attack began. (Medscape)

Non-Invasive Stimulation Augmented Anxiety Disorder Therapy in Study

Sept. 18, 2017 - A placebo-controlled study showed that 20 minutes of transcranial magnetic stimulation prior to a desensitization exercise, using virtual reality, for study subjects who were afraid of heights had an effect that lasted three months. The active stimulation to the frontal lobe was described as accelerating the therapy to help overcome the anxiety. (Deccan Chronicle)

Initial Data Published on Closed-Loop Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 18, 2017 - An Early View article presents data from six months of study of closed-loop spinal cord stimulation for chronic back and/or leg pain. Of 36 patients who received implants, the proportion experiencing more than 50% relief at three and six months was more than 90% and 80% respectively. For more than half of the recipients, pain relief surpassed 80% at three and six months (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinicians: Twenty Sessions of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Reduced Youths' Autism Symptoms

Sept. 17, 2017 - Clinicians from Cuba report that in a partial cross-over trial of 24 children (mean age 12), 20 sessions of non-invasive brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improved autistic symptoms for six months. Children 10 and younger received transcranial direct current stimulation, while children aged 10 years, 11 months and older received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which requires more collaboration for targeting. (Behavioral Science)

Article Summarizes Electrical Stimulation Methods to Address Paralysis

Sept. 15, 2017 - The journal Physiology has published an overview of electrical stimulation to improve function after spinal cord injury. (Medical Xpress)

Research Review Explores Publications on the Clinical Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Sept. 14, 2017 - An article reviews nearly 17 years of published research into transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to augment cognitive or physical therapy. The authors comment, "Although tDCS is a safe and easy technique, it is only safe and easy in the hands of trained persons." Still, they conclude that remotely controlled and supervised tDCS for home has promise as a potentially widespread clinical use of noninvasive brain stimulation. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Review Surveys Evidence Regarding Neuromodulation for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Sept. 14, 2017 - Commenting that neuromodulation represents "some of the most exciting new technologies in neurology today," a neurologist reviews several less-invasive and more-invasive forms of neuromodulation that have been explored to relieve trigeminal neuralgia that is not effectively treated with conventional surgery and/or medication. (Headache Currents)

Interview About International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress Recaps Progress in the Field

Sept. 7, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, gave an 8-minute videotaped interview at the start of the INS 13th World Congress about exciting presentations, emerging trends and impacts, and research results and potential market growth that are on the horizon. The interview touched upon growing access based on reimbursement, patient demand for alternatives, the need to avoid or minimize opioid use, and advancing technology. Technology advances include smaller, smarter devices with new waveforms, frequencies, pulse trains and targets, and closed-loop adjustment of stimulation for devices addressing pain or interventions targeting brain centers or bladder function. He also mentioned impressive research permitting paralyzed persons to move or use a cursor. (SmartTRAK)

Abstract Presents 12-Month Results in Post-Market Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Sept. 14, 2017 - An article covers an abstract presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress by INS member Sam Eldabe, MBBS, FRCA on a prospective, observational, post-market study of dorsal root ganglion stimulation for chronic intractable pain, PREDICT. The study followed 100 implanted patients for up to 12 months. The data suggest patients with complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral nerve injury respond particularly well, especially in the lower extremities, according to the abstract. (NeuroNews)

Long-term Data Presented About Neuromodulation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sept. 13, 2017 - Hypoglossal nerve stimulation led to significant improvements in moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea at one and five years, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. (Business Wire)

Meta-Analysis Provides Evidence for Sacral Neuromodulation to Relieve Bladder Pain Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis

Sept. 8, 2017 - Urology researchers in Guangzhou, China write that a meta-analysis of 17 studies with 583 subjects provides strong evidence for sacral neuromodulation relieving bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. They believe theirs is the first meta-analysis in this indication, and added that the long-term success rate was found to be 76%, similar to the short-term success rate of 88%. (Scientific Reports)

Article Discusses Bioelectronic Medicine Challenges and Potential

Sept. 8, 2017 - An article about early research into bioelectronic medicine says that it may not be necessary to develop smaller electrodes to target individual nerve fibers to treat inflammatory disease. That's because a low current from a cuff electrode around the vagus nerve should preferentially stimulate low-threshold fibers that link to the spleen. In principle, this stimulation would in turn down-regulate release of inflammatory factors. (The Guardian)

Article Details Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 5, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, FFPMRCA, was interviewed about the PROCO (Effects of Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes in Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation) randomized controlled trial, whose results he presented at the INS 13th World Congress. The results showed no clinical difference in pain relief using frequencies from 1–10kHz. In the study, targeting was optimized at 10kHz. During randomization, both amplitude and pulse width were optimized at each of four frequencies tested -- 1kHz, 4kHz, 7kHz and 10kHz. In the interview, Dr. Thomson discussed using a minimal electrical neural dose, adding that automation might facilitate targeting and neural dose optimization. (NeuroNews)

Article Calls Neurostimulation a Technology-Based Alternative to Opioids

Aug. 31, 2017 - An article that asks "are we doing all we can to stop the opioid crisis?" calls spinal cord stimulation "an underutilized pain management alternative for patients struggling with chronic pain." (U.S. News)

Study Examined Frequency-Specific Neuromodulation of Local and Distant Connectivity in Memory

Aug. 28, 2017 - In a pre-print, Duke University researchers say that in 15 healthy volunteers, they gathered evidence of network interactions that are associated with successful memory encoding in older adults. The investigation combined transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, fMRI, and diffusion weighted imaging. (BioRxiv)

Clinicians Report on Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Address Pain of Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgia

Aug. 28, 2017 - A research letter describes using noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation in the headache disorders paroxysmal hemicranial and hemicranial continua in which medical treatment with indomethacin is not tolerated. (JAMA Neurology)

Article Forecasts Aspects of Future Bioelectronic Medicine Devices

Aug. 28, 2017 - An article says bioelectronic medicine devices to stimulate peripheral nerves for chronic conditions may appear by the mid-2020s and at first may be the size of a pill or pen. The article said the treatments would modulate organ function, such as hormone production or airway constriction. (Guardian)

Magazine Presents the Science of Neural Circuits and Addiction

September 2017 - A cover story about addiction and neural reward circuitry describes, in part, using transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat the disorder. (National Geographic)

Neurosurgeons in China Report Deep Brain Stimulation Reduced Symptoms of Tardive Dystonia

Aug. 23, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Bomin Sun, MD and colleagues reported in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders about long-term followup in 10 patients who received deep brain stimulation for refractory tardive dystonia. The patients' movement and disability scores improved 87% and 84% respectively by six months, and continued, after plateauing. Follow-up lasted as long as 8.75 years. (MD Magazine)

Clinical Trial: Abdominal Pain in Adolescents Reduced Through Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Field Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2017 - A research team reports on a randomized controlled clinical trial in which percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation was applied to the external ear to relieve pain in 115 adolescents who had abdominal pain from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Patients in the treatment group had greater pain reduction after three weeks, compared to sham. (Gastroenterology & Hematology)

Clinical Trial Participant Helps Advance Research into Functional Electrical Stimulation for Paralysis

Aug. 22, 2017 - An article profiles a spine-injured patient who was the first participant in a clinical trial of a cortical implant that bypasses his injured spine and allows him to move his paralyzed hand and arm. International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, is a medical director of the project. The research team published a paper about their work in Scientific Reports. (Columbus Monthly)

State Hospital Brings Deep Brain Stimulation for Adults to a New Area of South Africa

Aug. 22, 2017 - A man with tardive dystonia became the first adult to receive deep brain stimulation at a state hospital in the Western Cape in South Africa. (Bizcommunity)

Case Report: Wireless Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Reduced Pain of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

Aug. 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Bart Billet, MD, and colleagues report in PAIN Practice on a case of a 78-year-old man with postherpetic neuralgia whose pain was relieved by a wireless peripheral nerve stimulator. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Article Recounts Progress in Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, is quoted in an article about spinal cord stimulation (SCS). The article notes drawbacks of longterm opioid treatment, and says that with its technical advancements, SCS is poised to become a mainstay in chronic pain treatment. (Pain Medicine News)

Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Post-Stroke Pain Showed Some Modulation of Mood

Aug. 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, presented results of a 10-patient prospective study of deep brain stimulation for post-stroke pain at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Stimulation that targeted the affective, emotional aspect of pain led to a change in perception and emotion but disability associated with pain remained unchanged. (Pain Medicine News)

First Enrollee Shows Continued Progress in Clinical Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Stroke Recovery

Aug. 10, 2017 - An article describes progress made by the first enrollee in a clinical study of deep brain stimulation to augment stroke recovery. International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, the investigator, will work with the FDA to change the study protocol so the patient can continue to receive stimulation after four months because she has continued to make progress, without a plateau as had initially been anticipated by the original study design. (Time)

Neuromodulation Research Winner to be Honored at Chinese Neuromodulation Society Meeting

Aug. 4, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society Chinese chapter will honor the first winner of the Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation on Sept. 2 at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Chinese Neuromodulation Society & The 8th Neuromodulation Congress of China in Jinan, Shandong Province, China. The winner of the $25,000 prize, University of Maryland Assistant Professor Meaghan Creed, PhD, submitted an essay for publication in the journal about her work showing a reversal of addictive symptoms in mice exposed to cocaine through deep brain stimulation (DBS) plus a drug to inhibit dopamine D1 receptors. In the mouse model of cocaine addiction, combining neurostimulation and a receptor antagonist showed an effect similar to the reversal seen in mice treated with optogenetics. Ontogenetic tools initially provided insight into how the plasticity of the brain's reward system is altered by exposure to addictive drugs. DBS alone was ineffective in addressing the symptoms in the mice. She explained in her essay that using a precise circuit-based intervention was key: "One acute, 10-min session of optogenetically inspired DBS . . . reversed cocaine-evoked plasticity and abolished drug-adaptive behavior for more than a week after its application." (AAAS)

Study: Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Cognitive Task Scores for Schizophrenic Patients After 24 Hours

Aug. 1, 2017 - A study of 49 people with schizophrenia in the journal Brain explored whether transcranial direct current stimulation might address problems with working memory and executive function that impair daily function for people with the condition. The double-blind, sham-controlled study found significant improvement in working memory 24 hours after stimulation. Twenty-eight subjects also had a functional MRI exam, and the study tracked improvements in an executive function task with changes in activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, task-related brain regions, and more distal nodes. (Psychiatric Times)

Article Presents Neuromodulation Alternatives to Opioids for Managing Chronic Pain

July 31, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Leong, MD, is quoted in a news feature that describes how neurostimulation for chronic pain presents an alternative to reliance on opioid medication. (Technology Review)

Authors Review Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation

July 26, 2017 - A review of clinical and experimental data notes that deep brain stimulation shows immediate effects and effects over several weeks, suggesting large networks are involved, and that direct involvement of axonal fibers rather than grey matter has been seen. The authors say the mode of action, therefore, is not just limited to stimulation of basal ganglia brain centers. They suggest that when deep brain structures are not the primary target, therapeutic terms such as "electrical neuro-network modulation" may be useful. (Nature Reviews)

Data Show Increased Adoption of Sacral Neuromodulation for Overactive Bladder

June 27, 2017 - Case logs from the American Board of Urology show that from 2003 to 2012, the number of sacral neuromodulation procedures for overactive bladder increased from 48 to 2068. By contrast, the number of augmentation cystoplasty procedures remained stable, with 14 to 38 cases reported annually. Proportionally, the augmentation procedure dropped from 25% to less than 1% of cases. (Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery)

Study Reports Five-Year Follow-up Results of Sacral Neuromodulation in Overactive Bladder

July 17, 2017 - A five -year follow-up study in the Journal of Urology concludes that sacral neuromodulation has sustained efficacy and quality-of-life improvements, and an acceptable safety profile. The prospective multi-center study enrolled 340 patients with overactive bladder. In the study, 68 patients received standard drug therapy, and the remainder received a sacral nerve stimulation implant. (Mass Device)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Studies Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation for Pain Relief

July 17, 2017 - A retrospective study presented by International Neuromodulation Society member Sylvine Cottin, PhD, showed that peripheral nerve field stimulation improved chronic pain by more than 50% in 30 patients who were followed for 24 months. One-third of the patients also received spinal cord stimulation simultaneously. The patients primarily had failed back surgery syndrome or low back pain. (Pain Medicine News)

Medical Center in India Begins Providing Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders

July 16, 2017 - A Parkinson's disease patient received a deep brain stimulation implant last week at a medical center in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. An article says that previously the state did not have a dedicated, multi-disciplinary program to address movement disorders in a comprehensive way. The new treatment program is expected to integrate complementary medicine and yoga. (The Hans India)

Care-Home Residents in the United Kingdom to Participate in a Clinical Trial of Transcutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence

July 14, 2017 - A three-year controlled clinical trial of transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation will be  carried out in the UK in 500 patients living in care homes who have urinary incontinence. The study is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research. (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy)

Report Summarizes Seizure Reduction in Epilepsy Patients who Received Responsive Neurostimulation Systems

June 2017 - Responsive neurostimulation in epilepsy patients was shown to reduce seizures over two to six years after implantation in 126 patients. (Epilepsia)

Six Research Teams Receive Federal Grants for Brain-Computer Research

July 10, 2017 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund six research teams for four years to develop prototype technology to transmit data between the brain and computers. The work may address blindness, paralysis and speech disorders through such means as light-emitting diodes, sensors linked to systems designed to decode speech, and detecting neural activity with holographic microscopes. Engadget reported that the lead organizations are Brown University, Columbia University, The Seeing and Hearing Foundation, the John B. Pierce Laboratory, Paradromics Inc. and the University of California, Berkeley. (Gizmodo)

Foundation Gives $1 Million for Research into Nerve Stimulation as a Potential Therapy for Diabetes

July 10, 2017 - The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research received a $1 million gift from the Knapp Family Foundation for research into developing a bioelectronic nerve-stimulation system to regulate glucose metabolism in diabetes patients, functioning as a sort of "electronic pancreas" in lieu of having the patients rely on insulin injections. (Innovate Long Island)

Agency Grants $19 Million for Brain-Computer Interface Development

July 10, 2017 - The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has eight organizations, led by Brown University, up to $19 million over four years to develop a fully implantable wireless brain interface system to record and stimulate neural activity. The award came through DARPA's new Neural System Engineering Design program. (EurekAlert)

International Neuromodulation Society Members Reflect on the Past and Future of Spinal Cord Stimulation

July 5, 2017 - NeuroNews published a feature about the 50th anniversary of spinal cord stimulation therapy. The article includes perspectives from International Neuromodulation Society members Giancarlo Baronet, MD; Christophe Perruchoud, MD; and Simon Thomson, MD. (NeuroNews)

Three Patients Receive an Investigational Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation System for Essential Tremor

June 30, 2017 - Under an investigational device exemption, researchers have implanted a closed-loop deep brain stimulation system in three patients with essential tremor, and say the system provides a 50% savings in battery life. (R&D Magazine)

Article Recaps Brain-Computer Interface Progress

June 19, 2017 - A feature article summarizes the state of brain-computer interface research projects, noting that while devices are far from everyday use, they are beginning to help people who are paralyzed, and include attempts to include sensory input. (Paste Magazine)

Neuromodulation Research Database Registrants Surge After INS Congress

June 2017 - The collective database of primary neuromodulation research data, WIKISTIM, reported the largest monthly increase in registrants -- a one-month increase of more than 7% -- since the online resource was created in 2013. Its editor, International Neuromodulation Society member Jane Shipley, attributes that growth to her presentations made at the INS 13th World Congress. In the monthly newsletter, she acknowledged INS Director-at-Large Konstantin Slavin for mentioning the resource during his presentations as well. With an additional 37 registrants since May, the registered users now number 510. (WIKISTIM)

Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Trial Addresses Affective Component of Neuropathic Pain

June 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, was mentioned in an article about the first prospective, randomized, controlled trial of DBS for neuropathic pain. The work was published in May 2017 in the Annals of Neurology. Co-authors included fellow INS members Scott Lempke, PhD and Kenneth Baker, PhD. In the nine patients in the cross-over trial, active stimulation did not produce at least a 50% improvement in pain disability compared to sham, but the stimulation to the ventral striatum did improve indices of the affective component of pain, such as depression, anxiety and quality of life. (Cleveland Clinic)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Gait in Patients with Advanced Parkinson's Disease

June 6, 2017 - A pilot study of spinal cord stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease, reported at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) 2017, showed the intervention improved freezing of gait in five patients whose gait dysfunction did not respond to levodopa. Up to 25 patients may eventually be included in the study. (Medscape)

INS Announces Six Best Abstracts at the 13th World Congress

May 29, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society announced six best abstract awards at its 13th World Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. The abstracts about pain and movement disorder were presented in a plenary session during the opening day of the congress. (EurekAlert)

Small Study Suggests Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Can Help Relieve Chronic Knee Pain

May 22, 2017 - A double-blind, randomized clinical study of 40 adults aged 50 -70 with osteoarthritis indicated that five daily sessions of transcranial direct Current stimulation lessened their pain severity. (tDCS) (Medscape)

Article Highlights Acceleration of Neuromodulation Progress

May 18, 2017 - An interview with International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, prior to the INS 13th World Congress, touches upon the accelerating progress made in the field of neuromodulation. (Medtech Insight)

Interview Surveys the Future of Neuromodulation

May 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, is interviewed about the future of neuromodulation in a publication's "Spotlight on neuromodulation". He describes devices becoming smarter so they can evaluate the response of the body and make changes in real time, as well as work in the brain to find new targets to treat diseases and conditions that are not optimally treated by pharmaceutical options. (Neuro Central)

Company Announces Its Neurostimulator's First Use in Ireland

May 9, 2017 - Mainstay Medical International plc announces its first sale and implant of its neurostimulation system to treat disabling chronic low back pain in Ireland. (Business Wire)

Long-Term Evidence Published Regarding Closed-Loop Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

May 3, 2017 - An article summarizes two recently published studies that offer long-term perspective on responsive, closed-loop, neurostimulation for the reduction of epileptic seizures. (Practical Neurology)

Grant Supports Research into Combining Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with Monitoring of Brain-Network Activation

April 26, 2017 - Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland  have received a grant of €1M from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation to produce a new kind of multi-channel transcranial magnetic stimulator that is compatible with fMRI and EEG methods to measure stimulation-induced neural network activation. The intent is to develop approaches to conditions such as Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, and potentially also stroke or depression. (Science Business)

U.S. Agency Announces Research Grants for Brain-Plasticity Studies

April 26, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Program Agency, DARPA, is funding eight projects at seven U.S. universities to study ways to potentially use peripheral nerve stimulation to facilitate brain plasticity and learning, through the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program. (DARPA)

Study: Transcutaneous Occipital Nerve Stimulation Lowered Migraine Intensity

April 17, 2017 - A randomized controlled clinical trial of transcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation in 110 patients with migraine found that one month of neurostimulation plus treatment with topiramate resulted in reduced headache intensity, regardless of frequency -- which was either 2 Hz, 100 Hz, or 2/100 Hz. The group that received 100 Hz stimulation plus topiramate had significant decreases in headache duration. (Pain)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Aided Some Memory Training in Study

April 24, 2017 Researchers investigating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) report that tDCS to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in 12 subjects significantly improved performance on a verbal memory-training task and a related task, as well as a reasoning test. The overall research explored combinations of working memory training in groups of 70 volunteers total, with some tDCS administered to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and some to the right. Results appeared in the journal Neuropsychologia. (Science Daily)

Case Series Indicates Sacral Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise for Refractory Constipation in Pediatric Patients

April 24, 2017 - The author of an abstract presented at the 2016 World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition concluded that sacral nerve stimulation is promising for children who have constipation that is refractory to conventional treatment. The study involved 25 patients with a mean age of 14. Despite a 25% complication rate, all patients said they would recommend the therapy to patients with similar symptoms. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

Review Summarizes Studies of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Spasticity Management

April 19, 2017 - Authors of a literature review about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation for spasticity management say most studies have been heterogenous. However, they write that published findings indicate "low-frequency rTMS and cathodal-tDCS over the unaffected hemisphere are more effective in reducing spasticity than high-frequency rTMS and anodal-tDCS over the affected hemisphere in chronic post-stroke." (PM & R)

Facing Unusual Spinal Anatomy, Physicians Use Three-Dimensional Printing to Plan a Spinal Cord Stimulation Case

April 20, 2017 - A case report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface describes using 3D printing to plan spinal cord stimulation for a patient whose distorted spinal anatomy had previously made access to the target location difficult. (News-Medical.net)

Researchers Predict Electrical Stimulation Aids Memory Most When Recall Wanes

April 20, 2017 - Researchers published results of a study in which they analyzed brain activity during memory tests and then developed and tested a predictive algorithm that indicates memory recall is enhanced when a stimulus is applied at a time it is faltering. The study in Current Biology was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, through the DARPA Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. The data were obtained during intracranial monitoring of 102 people who were undergoing epilepsy evaluation. (IEEE Spectrum)

Review Summarizes Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Studies that Address Obesity

April 19, 2017 - A review of studies of non-invasive brain stimulation for obesity in the journal Appetite found that short studies indicated stimulating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to decrease food cravings, but the promising results are preliminary and not conclusive. (Pakistan Observer)

INS Member Discusses Data Showing Patient Satisfaction Over 7.5 Years With Spinal Cord Stimulation

April 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MD, was interviewed about a single-center case series of 321 patients in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface that suggests the cost-effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation may become increasingly favorable. The interview also covered a comparatively low infection rate, accomplished through meeting the recent infection-control guidelines published by the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (NeuroNews)

Clinical Trial Participant with ALS Uses Her Thoughts to Type Via a Brain-Computer Interface

March 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jamie Henderson, MD, of Stanford University was interviewed about an ALS patient who is using the BrainGate2 interface to mentally control a cursor and type out her thoughts despite her immobility due to her condition. His university is among the collaborating institutions that work on BrainGate research. (ABC7news.com)

Analysis Tracks Infection Rates in Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants

April 14, 2017 - In an analysis of two U.S. payor databases, International Neuromodulation Society member David Provenzano, MD, found infection rates for spinal cord stimulation of 3.11% within one year of implant, which is approximately 1% higher than the rate for cardiac pacemaker implants. He called for identifying and evaluating common risk factors in a prospective manner. (Pain Medicine News)

Article Reports Tractography Aided Targeting in Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

April 12, 2017 - Researchers prospectively planned surgical targeting of deep brain stimulation to the subcallosal cingulate in 11 patients with treatment-resistant depression, using diffusion tractography and 3-D modeling to guide individualized targeting. In Molecular Psychiatry, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28397839 they report that after 12 months, nine of the patients were responders, with six in remission. (Medical Xpress)

Experiments Explore Impact of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Honesty

April 10, 2017 - Researchers found non-invasive brain stimulation increased honesty in experiments involving 300 university students. They report that transcranial direct current stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex made study subjects less likely to cheat for financial incentive on a die-rolling experiment, compared to controls. The study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Article Explores Genesis and Possibilities for Brain-Computer Interfaces

April 9, 2017 - Engineers at the University of Washington produced an overview about the state of brain-computer interfaces, and their inherent limitations and possibilities. They claim the brain may adjust to an interface just as people learn to drive a car or use a touchscreen. (The Conversation)

Researchers Publish Findings on Deep Brain Stimulation in Tourette Syndrome

April 7, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD was quoted in an article about a study he published with colleagues in the Journal of Neurosurgery. In it, they report on 13 patients with refractory Tourette Syndrome who received deep brain stimulation over the past seven years, with at least six months of follow-up. On average, the patients achieved a 50% reduction in tic severity. The average position of the active contact was the the junction of the posterior ventralis oralis internus and the centromedian-parafascicular nuclei. (Washington Post)

Experts Discuss Spinal Cord Stimulation Advances and Advantages

April 5, 2017 - An article summarizes roundtable discussion during the January North American Neuromodulation Society meeting about three-dimensional targeting and waveform variation in spinal cord stimulation (SCS). International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MBBS, sums up comments by noting, "With opioids, you might get a reduction in the pain score, but you don’t get an improved health-related quality of life. This is quite different from SCS, where the health-related quality of life and the pain score are maintained long term.” (Becker Spine Review)

Research Presentation: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Altered Balance of Gut Bacteria in Weight-Loss Study

April 3, 2017 - An Endocrine Society news release announces that researchers will present findings showing that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) to the insula and prefrontal cortex for weight loss also altered gut microbiota. In the controlled clinical trial of 14 patients, half received sham stimulation and half received 15 sessions of dTMS over five weeks. The release states that the treatment group lost more than 3% of their total body weight and 4% of their fat. The gut microbiota reportedly showed increases in bacteria associated with anti-inflammatory properties and some improved hormonal parameters. The investigation followed prior studies that indicated an imbalance of gut bacteria altered brain signals for appetite. (New Atlas)

Three-Part Series on Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Targeting Overview

March 29, 2017 - Part II of a three-part presentation covers targeting of the globus pallidus internus (GPi). Part I covered the ventralis intermedius (VIM) and included an overview of the therapy, equipment, and programming. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Newsletter Acknowledges 50th Anniversary of Dorsal Column Stimulation

March 2017 - The monthly newsletter of WIKISTIM, the collaborative database of published, peer-reviewed primary research data, made note of the 50th anniversary of the first-in-man demonstration of "dorsal column" (spinal cord) stimulation. (WIKISTIM)

Columnist Points Out Long-Term Advantages of Neurostimulation Compared to Risks of Opioids

March 2017 - A column notes the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is repeating its effort to have workers' compensation coverage for spinal cord stimulation denied in California. (Neurotech Reports)

Paralysis Patient Participates in Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial

April 3, 2017 - Four years after he was injured, a man paralyzed in a snow mobile accident is participating in a clinical trial of epidural spinal cord stimulation to try to recover the ability to stand or move his lower limbs. (Star Tribune)

An Autism Patient Has Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in India

April 1, 2017 - A woman from the United States who has epilepsy, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism traveled to India for deep brain stimulation. An article says some of her symptoms has lessened, she resumed speaking for the first time in more than 30 years, and her family hopes that she will be more able to manage herself. (DNA India)

Longitudinal Study Finds Chronic Depression Treatment Improved with Adjunctive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

March 31, 2017 - A five-year observational study of 795 patients with chronic depression, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that usual care plus adjunctive vagus nerve stimulation resulted in better cumulative response and remission rates that usual care alone. (PR Newswire)

Article Announces the International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress

March 30, 2017 - An article that announces the International Neuromodulation Society's 13th World Congress, in Edinburgh May 27 - June 1, 2017, quotes International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, about recent growth in the field and developments to be presented. (News-medical.net)

Tetraplegia Patient Demonstrates Restored Reaching and Grasping by Using a Functional Electrical Stimulation Neuroprosthesis and Brain-Computer Interface

March 28, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Miller, MD and co-authors report in The Lancet on a patient with tetraplegia who was recruited to the BrainGate2 clinical trial to use a brain-computer-interface with an implanted functional electrical stimulation system as a neuroprosthesis to voluntarily reach and grasp following spinal cord injury, (The Lancet)

Review Examines Studies of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Post-Stroke Therapy for Dysphagia

March 28, 2017 - Two researchers review studies about post-stroke rehabilitation for swallowing difficulty and conclude that clinical trials of motor recovery that includes use of non-invasive brain stimulation -- such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation -- offer early signs of promise for treatment of dysphagia. (Dysphagia)

Entrepreneur Finances a Brain-Computer Interface Startup

March 28, 2017 - Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk has started a California firm called Neuralink to develop a brain-computer interface. He confirmed reports of the company he is funding and indicated more information will come out in a week. (Newsweek)

Neural Prosthesis Allows Paralyzed Man to Eat Using Robotic Arm

March 28, 2017 - A man paralyzed for eight years has demonstrated an ability to feed himself mashed potatoes by using his thoughts to move his arm, attached to a brain-computer interface, as part of the BrainGate research project. (Reuters)

Article Describes Development of a Custom Neural Prosthesis

March 27, 2017 - An article highlights the journey taken by one man who has received a custom neural prosthetic that allows him some use of his hand, bypassing the spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed seven years ago. (Daily Mail)

Study Suggests Spinal Cord Stimulation Curbs Opioid Use

March 22, 2017 - A study presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society analyzed data for more than 5,400 patients between January 2010 and December 2014, finding that 70% of patients who received spinal cord stimulation reported declined or stabilized opioid use. (Pain Medicine News)

Physicians Report Two Cases of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Lower Back Pain

March 20, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, John Chae, MD, Richard Rauck, MD, Michael Saulino, MD, Joseph Boggs, PhD and colleagues report in Pain Practice on two patients who received one month of peripheral nerve stimulation for chronic low back pain. They say the use of pain relievers dropped and the patient who had been taking opioids stopped, and the pain relief continued at least four months after therapy began. (Medical Xpress)

Journal Publishes a Long-Term Followup of Eight Patients with Depression who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

March 20, 2017 - Researchers in Germany report that seven of eight patients who received deep brain stimulation to the medial forebrain bundle for severe depression showed lasting improvements up to four years into treatment. The report appeared in the journal Brain Stimulation. (News-Medical.net)

Updated Intrathecal Drug Delivery Guidelines are Featured

March 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, was interviewed for an article about the updated guidelines published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference. The update ranks evidence and lists 32 consensus points. INS member Todd Sitzman, MD was quoted in the article as noting that the guidelines recommend lower medication concentrations and potentially safer daily dosages of many medications. Dr. Staats said he anticipates a resurgence of interest in intrathecal therapy for patients whose conditions are otherwise hard to manage. (Pain Medicine News)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Studied in Australia for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

March 15, 2017 - An article profiles a patient with early stage Alzheimer's disease who participated in a small placebo-controlled clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for cognition, attention, memory and concentration. The treatment consisted of six weeks of treatments with theta-burst stimulation, which can target four sections of the brain in 12 minutes. She said her symptoms have not worsened and in some cases her memory has been helped. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Patient's Tourette Syndrome Symptoms Improve After Deep Brain Stimulation

March 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, was interviewed for a television segment about a patient with Tourette Syndrome whose symptoms improved after Dr. Jimenez-Shahed implanted a deep brain stimulation system. The patient is a high school girl's club lacrosse team coach who said she had been drained by trying to control her symptoms and thinking of taking a medical leave before the successful procedure 10 months ago. (Click2Houston)

Authors Report Six Months' Follow-Up of Pain Control Using Tibial Nerve Microstimulator

March 15, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Pawel Sokal, PhD; Marek Harat, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a case series of six patients with peripheral neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome who were treated with a wirelessly controlled microstimulator to provide tibial nerve stimulation. The authors report that pain relief was immediate and sustained for six months. They write that intermittent tibial nerve stimulation with such a device is safe and effective as well as minimally invasive. (Dove Press)

Publication Profiles Alzheimer's Patient Who Is Participating in a Deep Brain Stimulation Study

March 15, 2017 - A woman who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) a year ago in a small clinical trial of DBS for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease is profiled in an ongoing series. (Vancouver Courier)

Updated Intrathecal Drug Delivery Guidelines are Featured

March 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, was interviewed for an article about the updated guidelines published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference. The update ranks evidence and lists 32 consensus points. INS member Todd Sitzman, MD was quoted in the article as noting that the guidelines recommend lower medication concentrations and potentially safer daily dosages of many medications. Dr. Staats said he anticipates a resurgence of interest in intrathecal therapy for patients whose conditions are otherwise hard to manage. (Pain Medicine News)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Studied in Australia for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

March 15, 2017 - An article profiles a patient with early stage Alzheimer's disease who participated in a small placebo-controlled clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for cognition, attention, memory and concentration. The treatment consisted of six weeks of treatments with theta-burst stimulation, which can target four sections of the brain in 12 minutes. She said her symptoms have not worsened and in some cases her memory has been helped. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Patient's Tourette Syndrome Symptoms Improve After Deep Brain Stimulation

March 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, was interviewed for a television segment about a patient with Tourette Syndrome whose symptoms improved after Dr. Jimenez-Shahed implanted a deep brain stimulation system. The patient is a high school girl's club lacrosse team coach who said she had been drained by trying to control her symptoms and thinking of taking a medical leave before the successful procedure 10 months ago. (Click2Houston)

Brain Stimulation to Improve Synchronization Aids Working Memory, Investigated as a Potential Therapy Tool

March 14, 2017 - In two experiments, with 10 or 20 healthy volunteers each, a research team determined that applying transcranial alternating current stimulation to induce frontoparietal synchronization enhanced performance on working memory tests, as tracked in brain-activity imaging via functional magnetic resonance stimulation. The researchers say they would like to later apply these methods to patients who have brain injury or epilepsy. The work was published in the journal eLife. (Medical Xpress)

Scientist Exploring Brain Stimulation for Stroke Rehabilitation Receives a Research Award

March 14, 2017 - A researcher studying transcranial brain stimulation as a potential treatment for stroke-induced aphasia has received an early career recognition from the American Academy of Neurology. (News-Medical.net)

Show Features Investigational Uses of Deep Brain Stimulation

March 13, 2017 - An online radio program about novel uses of deep brain stimulation (DBS) includes a research study by International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Andre Machaco, MD, PhD, of DBS in stroke recovery, as well as research by INS member Jennifer Sweet, MD, into DBS for chronic pain or memory. (WKSU)

Television Show Profiles Sisters Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

March 12, 2017 - Twin sisters who received deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder are featured on a segment of The Doctors. The young women's neurosurgeon, International Neuromodulation Society member David Vansickle, MD, explains the procedure in the program. (Yahoo News)

Patient From Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Study Describes Her Anorexia Symptoms

March 10, 2017 - An article profiles an anorexia patient who says she temporarily responded to a single dose of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation in a pilot trial for a graduate student's doctoral thesis in London. The stimulation targeted the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is associated with impulsivity or self-control. (BBC News)

Group Calls For Comment on Proposed Workers' Compensation Revision

March 10, 2017 - The North American Neuromodulation Society, NANS, issued a news release asking for physician and patient comment on proposed revised rules by the California Division of Workers' Compensation that do not address coverage for neuromodulation for chronic pain. International Neuromodulation Society members Lawrence Poree, MD, PhD, and Nathan Miller, MD, have submitted published comments. (Business Wire)

Case Series: Patients Would Have Wanted Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Earlier Option

Feb. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS; Dmitry Kruglov, MD, PhD; and Rui Duarte, PhD report data about 321 patients who had spinal cord stimulation trials at a single center from January 2008 until July 2015. Among their findings, they project a mean gain of 6.2 quality of life years. They add that 96.4% of the patients would have wanted SCS as an earlier treatment option. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Deep Brain Stimulation Lowers Woman's Hypertension

Feb. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nik Patel, MD has published a case in the journal Hypertension of a woman who is said to the the first to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat her high blood pressure. He had previously published a report of high blood pressure resolving in a patient who received DBS for neuropathic pain. (University of Bristol)

Pilot Study Investigates Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Stroke Recovery

Feb. 27, 2017 - At the International Stroke Conference, International Neuromodulation Society member Jesse Dawson, MD, presented results of a sham-controlled pilot trial of vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitation for upper limb mobility following stroke. Treatment consisted of six weeks of stimulation. He said that 90 days after treatment ended, scores in the treatment group diverged from those of the sham group, and indicated significant improvement. (MedPage Today)

Survey Authors Conclude that Drug Delivery System Refilling Training Should be Standardized

Feb. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gail McGlothen, DNP, RN has co-authored a U.S. survey of 65 healthcare professionals who refill intraspinal drug delivery systems. The article, in available online in Early View, concludes the high variability in methods calls for the need for standardized training to minimize risk of human error. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Investigates Deep Brain Stimulation for Anorexia Nervosa

Feb. 24, 2017 - A study of 16 patients with anorexia nervosa who had deep brain stimulation to their subcallosal cingulate showed the intervention was safe and might help improve their symptoms, according to data published in The Lancet Psychiatry. (Medical Xpress)

Chronic Pain Patients Simulation Preferences Varied in Neurostimulation Clinical Trial

Feb. 23, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Frank Huygen, MD, PhD and colleagues report in the European Journal of Pain that a multi-center, cross-over trial of five different types of stimulation in 29 patients with complex regional pain syndrome showed 48% preferred the standard frequency of stimulation and 54% preferred a non-standard one. (Neuro News)

Cognitive Training Improved Slightly with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Home Study of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Feb. 22, 2017 - A feasibility study of multiple sclerosis patients showed modest improvements from receiving transcranial direct current stimulation during 10 sessions of computer-based cognitive-training at home, while they were remotely monitored through video-conferencing. Compared to 20 patients who only received cognitive training, 25 patients who received simultaneous stimulation improved modestly in performance scores for complex attention tasks and reaction times. The results were published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Mass Device)

Bioelectric Medicine Center Receives $25 Million Donation

Feb. 21, 2017 - The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which pursues research in bioelectric medicine, received A $25 million donation from philanthropists Leonard and Susan Feinstein, whose donation follows a $25 million donation in 2005 that led to the institute's renaming in their honor. (Innovate LI)

Review Examines Studies of Non-Invasive Stimulation in Stroke

Feb. 21, 2017 - A review about the safety of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke rehabilitation says studies should describe exclusion criteria and induced adverse effects, in order to facilitate examination of factors that may induce side effects. Less than 12% of papers published between 1998 and 2015 reported adverse effects of tDCS in stroke patients. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Column Highlights Research and Industry Developments Presented at Neuromodulation Meeting

February 2017 - A business column summarizes highlights from the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, held in January. (Neurotech Reports)

Researchers Build Computer Model of Motor Circuits to Optimize Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 10, 2017 - In a research project at University College Dublin, a team is modeling the brain-to-muscle pathway as a way to develop smarter, closed-loop deep brain stimulation devices for Parkinson's disease. The article says there are some 2 million possible stimulation parameters, and the research is intended to help select optimal ones. (Silicon Republic)

Clinical Trial Will Examine Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Fear and Anxiety

Jan 24, 2017 - The National Institute of Mental Health is recruiting up to 126 healthy volunteers for a clinical trial to explore whether transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can reduce fear and anxiety. (Clinicaltrials.gov)

Brain-Computer Interface Research Attempts to Help Patients with Locked-In Syndrome Communicate

Feb. 7, 2017 - A researcher at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva is developing an EEG monitoring system for otherwise uncommunicative patients who have locked-in syndrome to respond to yes-or-no questions. (Extreme Tech)

Visual Prosthesis Research Explores Magnetic Stimulation

Feb. 7, 2017 - A magnetic micro-coil developer, PARC, announced unspecified funding from the National Institutes of Health through the U.S. BRAIN Initiative to develop a visual prosthetic in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Florida. The announcement said the funding is "a multi-year, multi-million dollar award". (Globe Newswire)

Article Highlights Importance of Data Analytics for Devices That Employ Neurosensing

Feb. 7, 2017 - An article says data analytics can help neurosensing applications to improve devices to address a number of conditions, such as helping store limb motion after spinal injury. (Healthcare IT)

Retinal Prosthesis Company Raises Funds

Feb. 6, 2017 - Second Sight Medical announced plans for a rights offering to raise additional funds to further develop its retinal prosthesis and expand the market to better-sighted patients who have retinitis pigmentosa. The company announced a decision by the German Institute for the Hospital Renumeration System last week that allows approved hospitals to negotiate for reimbursement by insurers for treatment of patients with advanced retitinitis pigmentosa. (Mass Device)

Cleveland Starts a Brain Health Initiative

Jan. 27, 2017 - The Cleveland Foundation is awarding $15. million grant to Case Western Reserve University to start a multi-institution Cleveland Brain Health Initiative. An article about the grant mentions a federal grant for stroke research by International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, chair of the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute.  (Cleveland Business)

Proof-of-Principle Study Explores Non-invasive Brain Stimulation for Bulimia Patients

Jan. 25, 2017 - A proof-of-principle clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation showed effects on bulimia symptoms the day after active stimulation, compared to sham, according to results in 39 patients. The results were reported in PLoS ONE. (Healio)

Study: Most Spinal Cord Stimulation Recipients Do Not Increase Opioid Use

Jan. 24, 2017 - An analysis of medical claims from 5,476 patients who received a spinal cord stimulator showed opioid use declined or stabilized in 70% of them, according to a study sponsored by Abbott and presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society annual meeting. (Pain News Network)

Physician Investigating Potential Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Head Injury Patients

Jan. 24, 2017 - A physician has started a clinical trial for up to 30 patients who have had a traumatic brain injury or concussion, in order to investigate transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Daily VNS sessions address cognitive or functional symptoms ascribed to "abnormal electrical currents in the brain," a news article says. (Minnesota Daily)

Peripheral Neurostimulation Studied in Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain

Jan. 21, 2017 - In a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, data on seven patients with post-stroke shoulder pain were presented. The data showed an average 70% reduction in the patients' pain, as rated in a visual analogue scale, following treatment with a peripheral neurostimulator. (National Pain Report)

Company Makes a Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulator Available in Europe

Jan. 18, 2017 - St. Jude Medical, which is now part of Abbott, announced it is releasing a dorsal root ganglion stimulation system in Europe. (Medgadget)

New Prize in Neuromodulation Announced

January 2017 - A Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation was established in 2016 to honor contributions to neuromodulation research. Recipients will be honored annually for outstanding research as described in an essay based on research performed in the past three years. The award carries a prize of $25,000 and publication of the essay in Science Online, which is published by the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science. Beijing PINS Medical Equipment Co. Ltd. develops nerve stimulation technologies. (Science)

Study: Transcranial Magnetic Simulation Improved Working Memory in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Jan. 10, 2017 - A study compared repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to sham in 17 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 11 health control subjects without MS. The study found that active stimulation to the prefrontal cortex improved connectivity to other parts of the brain, and working memory, in the MS patients, but not in the healthy individuals. (Multiple Sclerosis News Today)

Article About the Difficulty of Rating Chronic Pain Presents Neurostimulation Therapies

Jan. 10, 2017 - An article about "the enduring mystery of pain management" says neuromodulation is a term "you hear everywhere in pain management circles." It mentions neuromodulation therapies such as spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Mosaic via The Atlantic)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Approach Blocks Unwanted Nerve Conduction

Jan. 5, 2017 - Biomedical engineers at Georgia Tech have designed a pair of vagus nerve stimulation electrodes that block stimulation in an afferent direction and force stimulation to only go in an efferent direction in order to lower inflammatory effects. The blocking electrode uses kilohertz frequency to block unwanted nerve conduction. (Medical Xpress)

First Patient Receives Implant in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Motor Recovery After Stroke

Jan. 5, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, is interviewed for a news story about the first stroke patient to be implanted with a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system in his clinical trial of DBS in stroke recovery. The study will investigate if DBS and physical therapy combined help regain motor function. (WOIO)

Review: Non-invasive Neuromodulation is Useful for Migraine Management

January 2017 - A review of non-invasive stimulation in migraine treatment concludes, "Noninvasive neuromodulation is an exciting and useful method that is being increasingly recognised as a valid strategy for migraine management." (touch Neurology)

Small Study Shows Positive Results for Treating Depression in Elderly with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Jan. 3, 2017 - A placebo-controlled study of 52 patients over the age of 60 who have treatment-resistant depression showed that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation led to half the patients achieving full remission, compared to only 16% of the sham-treated patients. (Nasdaq)

Journal Publishes New Consensus on Neuromodulation Therapy

Jan. 2, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, has published updated guidelines for neurostimulation implants and intrathecal drug delivery. The six articles appear in Early View, and were authored by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference and the Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. These more than 60 international experts were convened by the INS Executive Board to provide guidance for improving safety and efficacy of these therapies that can help reduce opioid use. The authors reviewed publications that appeared in the scientific literature by 2014 to issue the updated guidance. (News-Medical.net)

Article Describes Advantages of Neuromodulation for Pain Relief

Dec. 30, 2016 -  An article entitled, "Neuromodulation, a weapon in the fight against opioid addiction" quotes International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantin Slavin, MD, following a panel presentation at the AdvaMed 2016 medical conference. Dr. Slavin noted advantages of neuromodulation are that it can be trailed, is adjustable and reversible, and does not destroy tissue. He said as a pain-relief method it can “provide an alternative to opioids and help patients already on opioids as a replacement therapy.” (Addiction Now)

Review Sums Up Potential Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Dec. 30, 2016 - Researchers who reviewed mostly open-label research into deep brain stimulation for depression, published between 2010 and 2015, found the long-term response rates were between 40% and 70% and the clinical benefit lasted for months or years. (Medscape)

Clinical Study Explores Focused Ultrasound to Treat Parkinson's Disease

Dec. 24, 2016 - In an article about a clinical study of ablation with focused ultrasound in Parkinson's disease, International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD is quoted as saying it provides "a whole new dimension in the way we can help people. We can perform brain surgery without ever cutting the skin." (Columbus Dispatch)

Article Lists Neuromodulation Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

Dec. 20, 2016 - An overview of fibromyalgia treatments mentions clinical trials in repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. (ProHealth)

Company Plans to Seek FDA Approval for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

Dec. 20, 2016 - Neuronix Ltd. said a multi-center clinical trial involving 131 patients had "conclusive" results in patients with early-to-middle-stage Alzheimer's disease who received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in conjunction with computer-based cognitive exercises. The company indicated it intends to pursue FDA approval for the treatment. (Globes)

Children Whose Dystonia is Linked to a Mutation May Be Treated by Deep Brain Stimulation, Scientists Say

Dec. 19, 2016 - Researchers report they have identified a genetic mutation in movement-disorder patients whose condition was hard to diagnose previously. The discovery of this genetic basis for the patients' dystonia, they add, means the patients can be considered for treatment with deep brain stimulation. (The Telegraph)

Iranian University Develops a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Device

Dec. 18, 2016 - Biomedical engineering researchers at Amirkabir University in Tehran said they have created a transcranial direct current stimulation device they say is ready for commercialization. (Meh News Agency)

Researchers in Sweden Work on Flexible Electrodes Capable of Releasing Neurotransmitters

Dec. 16, 2016 - Researchers at  Karolinska Institutet said they have developed a process to impregnate conducting polymer electrodes with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which was then released when the electrode was stimulated with an electrical signal. (Health Canal)

Researchers Publish Long-Term Results in Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina

Dec. 15, 2016 - A study that followed 100 patients in the U.K. National Refractory Angina Service for 14 years found that spinal cord stimulation resulted in improvement with a satisfaction rate of more than 90%. Noting that the range of complications were within the range reported in the literature, the authors conclude the treatment seems to be safe and effective for refractory angina. (Medscape)

Research Associates Dopamine Deficiency with Brain-Wave and Cognitive Processing Issues

Dec. 15, 2016 - A research team observed that Parkinson's disease patients who performed poorly on a judging several seconds of time also lacked delta-wave brain function, of 1-4 Hertz, in their frontal cortex. The scientists studied mice who lacked dopamine in their prefrontal cortex and found they improved performance in a timing task if their dopamine receptors in this brain area were stimulated at 2 Hertz by pulses of light. The researchers say they believe they were able to demonstrate improved cognitive function from brain stimulation in the mice. They added that stimulation of specific neural networks in the cortex might improve cognitive processes that depend on dopamine. (Medical Xpress)

Spinal Cord Stimulator Helps Paralyzed Patient Regain Use of His Hands

Dec. 13, 2016 - Researchers at UCLA report implanting a 32-electrode spinal cord stimulator in a spine-injury patient, allowing him to regain some usable strength in his hands, five years after the accident that left him a functional quadriplegic. (EurekAlert)

Medical Technology Panel Addresses Opioid Issues and Alternatives

Dec. 12, 2016 - Members of the International Neuromodulation Society spoke at a recent panel where medical technology was discussed as part of a solution for the U.S. opioid epidemic. Panelists discussed a variety of neuromodulation approaches for spinal cord stimulation, and also aspects of intrathecal drug delivery. INS President Timothy Deer, MD, said he calls the recent rapid development of non-opioid approaches to pain a "neuromodulation revolution". INS Director-at-Large Konstantin Slavin, MD, commented that there is not an opioid epidemic where patients receive very different treatment for similar conditions outside the U.S., Canada and Australia. (Pain Medicine News)

Memory-Formation Study Fails to Show Improvements from Stimulating Certain Brain Targets

Dec. 7, 2016 - A study in 49 patients with epilepsy failed to show improvements in forming memories from stimulation of the entorhinal cortex or hippocampus. The subjects were asked to perform eight times as many memory retrievals -- 48 -- as were seven subjects in a 2012 study that suggested a potential memory benefit from stimulation to these brain regions. In the current study, stimulation resulted in reduced accuracy in memory retrieval that ranged from 5 - 20% in all regions stimulated for the tasks. (Medical Xpress)

Developers Eye Potential Future Human Clinical Trials of Light Stimulation to Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Dec. 7, 2016 - MIT researchers reported in Nature that stimulating the brain in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease using LED light at 40 flashes per second restored gamma oscillation, which activated glial cells to clear beta amyloid plaques. The technology is being licensed to the startup Cognito Therapeutics. The Boston Globe reported that the company's lighting system is being prepared for human clinical trials at the San Francisco-based medical device incubator TheraNova LLC. (Financial Times)

Academic Researcher Designs and Tests Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Devices

Dec. 6, 2016 - A researcher in New York has received a combined $4 million in grants for research into non-invasive brain stimulation. His laboratory focuses on design and testing of devices to address neuropsychiatric disorders or brain injury. (City College of New York)

Patients with Fecal Incontinence Receive Implants in a Clinical Trial of a Rechargeable Sacral Neuromodulation Device

Dec. 6, 2016 - Axionics Modulation Technologies, Inc. is undertaking a 12-patient evaluation of its rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system for fecal incontinence, and announced two patients have been implanted with the device in the U.K. (Business Wire)

Article Presents Vagus Nerve Stimulation as an Alternative to Pharmaceuticals

Dec. 5, 2016 - An article talks about existing and emerging uses of vagus nerve stimulation in a number of disorders, with comments by a number of academic researchers. (Wall Street Journal)

Article Presents Sacral Neuromodulation as an Alternative Treatment for Bladder Dysfunction

Dec. 4, 2016 - A publication in Singapore features the use of sacral nerve stimulation as a potential option not many patients know about for either urinary retention or overactive bladder. Patients who have one or the other of those conditions are interviewed in the article, as well as their physician. (Star 2.com)

Geneticist Studies Brain Stimulation in Preclinical Investigation of Childhood Neurological Disorder

Dec. 4, 2016 - A geneticist who received a $3 million Breakthrough Prize in the fifth year of the Silicon Valley science gala saw significant improvements in learning and memory through the use of deep brain stimulation in mouse models of the rare childhood disorder Rett syndrome. She said the findings may translate to other disorders. (Houston Chronicle)

Weekly Science Show Presents Neuromodulation for Paralysis

Dec. 3, 2016 - A weekly radio program presents research into spinal cord stimulation and brain-computer interfaces in paraplegia. (PRI)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise in Small Crohn's Disease Study

Dec. 1, 2016 - A small study of seven patients shows vagus nerve stimulation may address the symptoms of Crohn's disease. Over six months, five of the seven patients achieved endoscopic remission and four experienced clinical remission. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Apparently Reveals an Additional Memory Capacity

Dec. 1, 2016 - The journal Science published results of a memory study involving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In the study, subjects were asked to recall a cue and then given other memory tasks to hold in their short-term memory. With TMS stimulation, neural activity associated with the "forgotten" item spiked. An accompanying news article in the journal describes the observation of latent recall as a second level of working memory, saying that it might be based in synapses or other neural features. (Medical Xpress)

Study Shows No Advantage to Changing Epilepsy Medication Following Vagus Nerve Stimulation Treatment

Nov. 28, 2016 - An 85-person comparative study from 2005 - 2014 showed there was no outcome improvement from changing anti-epileptic drugs after a patient started vagus nerve stimulation therapy. The authors suggest keeping the same medication may allow optimizing stimulation parameters. (Epilepsy Research UK)

Clinical Trials Explore Subperception Spinal Cord Stimulation

Nov. 23, 2016 - A pilot cross-over study published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, compared three weeks of subperception spinal cord stimulation (SCS) with conventional SCS with parathesia at 10 kHz. An article suggests subperception SCS may be an effective alternative for some pain patients to find relief. The study is being followed by a subsequent multicenter, randomized, controlled, crossover, open-label study of 146 previously implanted patients that will document the efficacy of subperception SCS at up to 1.2 kHz. (Anesthesiology News)

French Research Center Raises Funds to Study Brain-Based Neural-Interface Devices

Nov. 22, 2016 - The French biomedical research center Clinatec has raised €10 million in the past 12 months in a matching-funds campaign with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. The center is pursuing innovative treatments for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and motor disorders. They include a brain-computer interface project for patients with quadriplegia; a near-infrared project to potentially provide neuroprotection and slow disease progression through use of an intracranial device delivering therapeutic light; and the Epicool project that aims to develop a cooling system implanted in the brain to block seizures. Also, the center is participating in the Equoloc project that studies potential brain dysfunctions in drug-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder, using imaging, including the center's MEG capability. (Business Wire)

Researchers Plan a Multi-Center Clinical Trial After Showing a Sustained Benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 17, 2016 - A 30-patient randomized study of patients with early Parkinson's disease found that individuals who had deep brain stimulation had better motor scores five years later, compared to those who only had medical treatment. The pilot study was presented in October at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association. The researchers at Vanderbilt University said they are now pursuing funding for an FDA-approved Phase 3 clinical trial of 280 patients at 18 centers. (Neurology Today)

Study Investigates Non-Invasive Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Nov. 17, 2016 - Compared to sham stimulation, combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder showed improvements in autonomic nervous system electrophysiological measures and in the emotionally-modulated startle response following non-invasive peripheral nerve stimulation, researchers reported in an abstract at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. (Psychiatry Advisor)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Investigated in Depression

Nov. 16, 2016 - A researcher described her small pilot study of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on depressed pregnant women who do not want to take antidepressants. At the University of Kansas, another researcher received $70,000 in funding to use brain imaging to compare the effects of tDCS on 40 subjects, half of whom have depression. (PBS)

Researcher Targets Brain Structures with Overlapping Non-Invasive Stimulation

Nov. 15, 2016 - A researcher presented early studies in healthy subjects to use non-invasive brain stimulation to target the hippocampi as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Imaging showed increased localized brain activity as a result of the stimulation. He also plans to target areas involved in depression and addiction. The stimulation involves using overlapping high-frequency stimulation that only exerts a physiological effect where the fields overlap and result in a lower-frequency stimulation. (New Scientist)

Researchers Seek an "Ideal Bioelectronic Interface"

Nov. 15, 2016 - An article described research into printing microelectronics on hydrogels as potential future brain-machine interfaces. (SPIE)

Retrospective Review Analyzes Post-Surgical Complications of Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 5, 2016 - A review of 650 cases in which Parkinson's disease patients underwent deep brain stimulation provides data that "can be used as an adjunct for short-term risk stratification" when patients are considered for the therapy, the authors state. (World Neurosurgery)

Researchers Explore a Hydrogel for Optogenetics Applications

Nov. 15, 2016 - Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School are working on a biocompatible, stretchable material with potential applications in optogenetics, according to an MIT news release. (Medica Magazine)

Investigators Say Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Gait in Patients with Advanced Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 10, 2016 - An article says that four patients who had advanced Parkinson's disease and had had deep brain stimulation experienced improved gait after spinal cord stimulation. (Movement Disorders)

Reviewers Examine Possible Mechanisms in Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Nov. 9, 2016 - In a review, authors interested in the role of deep brain stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus for obsessive compulsive disorder say this target "has a coordinating role in decision-making and action-selection mechanisms" and they believe the treatment helps to normalize the disturbed circuit activity seen in the condition. (European Neuropsychopharmacology)

Column Describes Reimbursement Issues in Pre-Approved, Off-Label Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 7, 2016 - A viewpoint article raises the issue of third-party payers, including federal insurance providers, not reimbursing pre-approved off-label use of deep brain stimulation for severe, medication-refractory neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. (JAMA Neurology)

Brain-Machine Interface Study: Sensorimotor Plasticity Connected to Phantom Limb Pain

Nov. 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Koichi Hosomi, MD, PhD; Haruhiko Kishima, MD, PhD; and Youchi Saitoh, MD, PhD and colleagues co-authored an article in Nature Communications, "Induced sensorimotor brain plasticity controls pain in phantom limb patients" The article describes phantom limb pain observed when study subjects used a brain-machine interface to move a robotic hand. When the interface used sensorimotor signals representing the missing limb, the pain increased -- perhaps due to the lack of sensory feedback, the authors commented. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Patient with Locked-In Syndrome Uses Brain-Machine Interface to Type

Nov. 12, 2016 - Researchers in Utrecht reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that they have demonstrated a brain-computer interface that allowed an ALS patient who has no voluntary movement except for her eyes to use cortical brain signals to slowly spell words using typing software. The interface responds to her imagining she is moving her hand. A member of the team said the implant provides a way to communicate immediate needs. He added that she had been avoiding going outdoors because the eye-tracker she uses to communicate must be re-calibrated in different light conditions. (The Seattle Times)

U.S. Army Veterans to Participate in a Clinical Trial of Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Pain and Related Symptoms

Nov. 10, 2016 - Researchers in New York plan to undertake a randomized clinical trial of 40 veterans of the 1990 - 1991 Gulf War who have widespread pain and migraines. The study, funded by a $703,200 medical research grant from the U.S. Army, will investigate the use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation to treat their symptoms. (Newswise)

Article Covers High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial Results

Nov. 9, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, and Kiran Patel, MD, were quoted in an article about a recently published study of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation. (UPI)

Preclinical Study Demonstrates a Neuroprosthetic that Overcomes a Partial Spinal Lesion

Nov. 9, 2016 - An international research team reported in a letter to Nature that they had demonstrated two monkeys the capability of restoring movement to a lower limb through dual electrode interfaces at the brain's motor cortex and the lower spinal cord. With the neuroprosthetic implant, the research subjects regained the ability to walk following a spinal lesion that paralyzed one leg. (Seeker)

Authors Review Deep Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Conditions

Nov. 8, 2016 - A journal article says relative safety and efficacy of deep brain stimulation has become more widely accepted, adding that investigations into its use in psychiatric disorders "suggest moderate benefit in many cases and remain encouraging." (Psychiatric Annals)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Study Participants' Ability to Multi-task

Nov.8, 2016 - A controlled study of 20 Air Force personnel found that transcranial direct current stimulation increased working memory when they undertook a test that required them to multitask. The authors think the stimulation may help with attention and vigilance. (International Business Times)

Scotland Centre for Deep Brain Stimulation is Delayed

Nov. 8, 2016 - The BBC reports that a specialty center to provide deep brain stimulation for movement disorder patients in the north and east of Scotland is delayed and not expected to open until the spring after final equipment and staffing arrangements are made. (BBC News)

Article Profiles Participant in a Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

Nov. 4, 2016 - A Canadian woman who is participating in a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's disease describes her experience in an article that mentions the search for 97 more participants to enter the third phase of the clinical trial. Results of the second phase, published in September, showed a trend toward a benefit in patients above age 65. The clinical trial investigates stimulation of the fornix as a potential intervention for mild Alzheimer's disease. (CBS News)

Study Examines Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Phantom Limb Pain

Nov. 3, 2016 - A randomized controlled clinical study of 54 patients with phantom limb pain following traumatic limb loss from land mine explosions indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation produced better results than sham over the two-week treatment period, but the effects faded by 30 days post-treatment. The study author commented that in other pain disorders, periodic maintenance stimulation treatments have been safe and effective for sustaining benefit. (Pain Medicine News)

Patient Organization to Present Talk on Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 2, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member David VanSickle, MD, discussed changing guidelines of when to consider deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease in an article announcing an upcoming presentation organized by the Parkinson's Association of the Rockies. (Steamboat Today)

Laboratory Device May Enable Neurostimulation Implants to Also Administer Chemical Agents

Nov. 2, 2016 - A research team has demonstrated the capability of delivering neurotransmitters at nearly the same rate as neurons. An article says this technology could be coupled with deep brain stimulation to provide chemical treatment in addition to electrical stimulation in conditions such as epilepsy. (IEEE Spectrum)

Single-Center Study Showed One-Year Benefit from Occipital Nerve Stimulation in Chronic Migraine

Oct. 28, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a single-center study in Pain Practice showing occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) reduced the frequency, and/or intensity, of chronic migraine. The study included 20 patients who were followed for 12 months. All patients received ONS for the final 40 weeks. In the first 12 weeks, half were randomized to a control group that did not receive active stimulation during that time. (Doctors Lounge)

Journal Publishes Comparative Clinical Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation Frequency Modes

Oct. 28, 2016 - The November issue of Neurosurgery carries two-year results of a multi-center study comparing spinal cord stimulation using either conventional stimulation or high-frequency stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Column Cites Neuromodulation As One Part of the Solution to an Opioid Epidemic

Oct. 27, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, authored a blog about combating the opioid epidemic. He states, "Many times, there are interventional therapies that physicians could and should employ before a patient ever swallows his first pill." He continues to say that neuromodulation options such as spinal cord stimulation have been around for decades and "are proven effective at decreasing pain and opiate use while improving function." (Huffington Post)

Brain-Computer Interface Under Development to Provide Positional Sensing for Hand

Oct. 26, 2016 - Researchers at the University of Washington are studying how to provide cortical stimulation to allow study subjects to sense the position of their hand and its grasp. (Newswire)

Prosthetics Allow Users to Sense and Control the Pressure of Their Grip

Oct. 26, 2016 - Two volunteers who use a prosthetic hand have been able to use a system that includes pressure sensors to detect and control the amount of pressure they exert, helping them to perform tasks. (Medical Xpress)

Review Looks at Role of Sacral Neuromodulation

Oct. 26, 2016 - Sacral neuromodulation continues to have a role in managing overactive bladder patients, authors of a review conclude, despite the rate of adverse events and long-term cost equivalence to botulinum toxin A. They add that the indications are "continuously expanding". (Dove Press)

Article Summarizes Neuromodulation Approaches to Headache Disorders

October 2016 - An opinion piece summarizes recent findings in neuromodulation for headache disorders and possible mechanisms of action. (U.S. Neurology)

Brain-Computer Interface Delivers Sense of Touch Via Robotic Hand

Oct. 13, 2016 - A volunteer who is paralyzed from the chest down was able to identify fingers of a robotic hand through a brain-computer interface when each finger was individually touched. The work was reported in Science Translational Medicine. (DARPA)

News Report Addresses Access to Sacral Neuromodulation in Wales for Fecal Incontinence

Oct. 24, 2016 - A BBC radio program focuses on disparities in access to sacral neuromodulation in Wales, compared to England or Scotland, for fecal incontinence. (BBC Radio)

Preliminary Results Reported of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Crohn's Disease

Oct. 24, 2016 - An article presents preliminary results of vagus nerve stimulation in Crohn's disease. Results in six patients, presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week, showed reduced signs of excessive inflammation in the gut. Full results of the 20-patient study at four centers in Europe are expected next year. The article says a placebo-controlled study is planned. (Daily Mail)

Clinical Study Investigates Phrenic Nerve Stimulation for Central Sleep Apnea in Heart Failure Patients

Oct. 24, 2016 -  In a pilot study, 46 heart failure patients with central sleep apnea showed improvement in sleep parameters and cardiac endpoints after undergoing one year of transvenous phrenic nerve stimulation. The implant regularized breathing by stimulating contraction of the diaphragm, (Heart Health)

New Brain Region Implicated in the Exercise of Self-Control

Oct. 19, 2016 - Brain-stimulation studies reported in Science Advances suggest new possibilities for therapeutic interventions for self-control deficits in disorders like addiction and obesity. A research team showed activity of the temporo-parietal junction allowed study subjects to resist an impulsive choice and make decisions based on their own future needs. The researchers explained they believe that, in addition to the prefrontal cortex, this area is important in the self-control involved in delayed gratification. (Medical Xpress)

Doctors Plan to Publish a Case Involving Deep Brain Stimulation Successfully Treating Status Eplieplicus

Oct. 19, 2016 - Physicians in Taipei are submitting a case report for publication concerning a 17-year-old girl who received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant targeting the anterior thalamic nucleus because she had developed status epilepticus. They said to their knowledge, this is the first case of DBS being used to successfully treat the serious and potentially life-threatening condition. (Taipei Times)

Funding Agency Describes the Scope of Its Neuromodulation-Related Funding

Oct. 18, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced its third round of grants for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative. The more than $70 million brings the agency's fiscal 2016 investments to about $150 million. The most recent grants, a spokesman said, involve more projects that are based at least in part on human data. The nine funding categories include neuromodulation and related technologies. For instance, both invasive and non-invasive devices are covered, and new concepts, technologies, and optimization of large-scale recording and modulation, in addition to research for understanding neural circuits. (Healio)

Study Targets Chronic Migraine

Oct. 17, 2016 - Pain Medicine News reports that a sham-controlled clinical trial of 59 patients with chronic migraine, published in Neurology, showed noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation was safe, tolerable, and potentially effective. (Pain Medicine News)

Newer Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants Have Begun in the U.K.

Oct. 17, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nigel Kellow, MD, was quoted in an article about a back-pain patient who received a newer spinal cord stimulator. The article covered her treatment and the device features. (Daily Mail)

Grant Will Help Fund Deep Brain Stimulation Cross-Over Trial in Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 17, 2016 - The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced a $7.3 million, five-year grant from the U.S. BRAIN Initiative to undertake a cross-over study of deep brain stimulation using directional current for patients with Parkinson's disease. The researchers are also studying cortical activation patterns, through electroencephalography, to see if that could help improve programming. (Newswire)

Optogenetics Project May Explain Processes in Neuroplasticity

Oct. 17, 2016 - Collaborators will use a $1.4 million, three-year grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to examine processes in learning and memory using ontogenetic tools. Specifically, they will analyze protein activity in neurons during synaptic and behavioral plasticity. (Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience)

"Large Scale Recording and Modulation" Among Research Areas to Receive Federal Funding

Oct. 15, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced more than $150 million in funding that includes grants for research projects to develop ways to record brain activity, analyze data to diagnose conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, and improve deep brain stimulation for disorders that include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The funding represents the third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. (Pharmabiz)

Grant Will Fund Clinical Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation

Oct. 13, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD received nearly $5 million from the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) to start a clinical trial building upon his preclinical research into deep brain stimulation as a possible therapy to aid motor recovery during rehabilitation following stroke. (Cleveland Business)

Collaborators Receive a Grant to Pursue Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 13, 2016 - Collaborators at the Baylor College of Medicine, Brown University, and the University of Pittsburgh received a grant from the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) of $1.5 million annually for five years to develop new deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology to help treat treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. The collaborators are seeking to create an adaptive stimulation mode that responds to the patient's changing clinical needs. They said they would like to use a closed-loop approach similar to what exists for epilepsy. They proposed a pilot study of 10 subjects. The first five would receive a DBS system that targets the ventral striatum and can both stimulate and record activity. The project also involves training a computer to recognize patient moods as programming is adjusted. (Baylor College of Medicine)

Grants Announced for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Research

Oct. 13, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jeffrey Ardell, PhD and Jiande Chen, PhD, were among researchers highlighted in an article about $20 million in funding from the National Institute's of Health that was announced last week. The funding dividing among 27 research teams supports various lines of research into peripheral nerve stimulation therapies. (IEEE Spectrum)

Researchers: Microelectrode Array Allows Man with Tetraplegia to Sense Fingers of Prosthetic Arm

Oct. 13, 2016 - Researchers published in Science Translational Medicine about adding the sense of touch to a prosthetic limb. (Live Science)

Study Compares Treatments for Urinary Urge Incontinence Using Sacral Neuromodulation or Botulinum Toxin

Oct. 5, 2016 - In a comparative study of 350 women with persistent urgency urinary incontinence, onabotulinumtoxinA conferred small improvements compared to sacral neuromodulation (SNM), but also significant adverse effects over the 6-month study period. The number of daily incontinence episodes dropped by 3.9 for the onabotulinumtoxinA group and 3.3 for the SNM group. However, 35% of the patients treated with onabotulinumtoxinA had urinary tract infections vs. 11% of the SNM patients. Also 20% of the onabotulinumtoxinA patients required intermittent self-catherization. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Grant Will Fund Brain-Stimulation Research for Parkinson's Disease

Sept. 27, 2016 - The University of Minnesota is receiving a $9.07 million grant over five years from the National Institute of Health for its research into Parkinson's disease, including deep brain stimulation to the palladium and effects on brain circuitry. (Life Science Daily)

Study Indicates How Stimulation Activates Other Brain Regions

Sept. 26, 2016 - A computational study of eight research subjects' brain activity recorded in diffusion spectrum imaging showed how stimulation of 83 different areas affected activation of other regions and large-scale activity within the brain, providing insight into different potential therapeutic approaches for neurological or psychiatric disorders. (The Science Explorer)

Region Grows an Emphasis in Brain Health, Looks to Future Advancements

Sept. 25, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, and fellow physicians were interviewed for an article about the future of neurological health. The article noted a concentration of specialists in the region who address brain health concerns. (Columbus Dispatch)

Collaborators Pursue New Deep Brain Stimulation Paradigm

Sept. 23, 2016 - A deep brain stimulation paradigm developed through computational modeling has entered preclinical study for potential translation to patient treatment. An article explains that this "coordinated reset" approach involves using the lead's multiple contacts to deliver intermittent, pseudorandomized bursts of brief, low-intensity, spatially distributed pulse trains to purposely desynchronize “pathological” neural oscillations. (Consult QD)

Study Examines Deep Brain Stimulation in Traumatic Brain Injury

Sept. 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in an article about research into deep brain stimulation as therapy for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which he said causes 80,000 new cases of disability a year. The journal Neurosurgery published an open-label prospective study by Rezai and colleagues of four TBI patients who had problems with behavioral control and emotional self-regulation and were treated with deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens and anterior limb of the internal capsule to modulate the prefrontal cortex. All participants had improved outcomes, the researchers reported, mainly in "behavioral and emotional adjustment, which in turn improved functional independence." (Philly.com)

Article Presents Recent Neuromodulation Therapies for Pain

Sept. 20, 2016 - An overview of advances in pain medicine has sections on developments in neurostimulation an intrathecal drug delivery. (Yahoo! News)

Study: Continuous Sub-threshold Cortical Stimulation Reduced Seizure Rate in Epilepsy Patients

Sept. 19, 2016 - Researchers report in JAMA Neurology that a majority of 13 epilepsy patients who had continuous sub-threshold cortical stimulation had a reduction in seizures of at least 50 percent. The patients were offered this investigational treatment when temporary stimulation during evaluation provided a clinical benefit. None of the patients were suitable for resection surgery. (Newswire)

Brain Stimulation to Aid Investigation into Motor Control and Rehabilitation

Sept. 19, 2016 - A researcher studying motor control to gain knowledge to aid rehabilitation plans to use transcranial magnetic stimulation when subjects are using an exoskeleton. He would like to understand what parts of planned arm movement involve the cortical level of the brain, and which involve the peripheral nervous system. (UC Merced)

Review Examines Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Sept. 19, 2016 - A review summarizes current research on epidural spinal cord stimulation in restoring some function to select spinal cord injury patients. The authors conclude further research is warranted, including potentially the "development of dedicated technological hardware and software." (Journal of Neurorestoratology)

Grant Supports Work on Blood-Pressure Neurostimulator

Sept. 19, 2016 - Researchers at the National Institutes of Health received a $440,670 grant for research of a "Closed-Loop Blood Pressure Control by Neural Stimulation for Cardiac Care Environment." Their device would stimulate the sciatic nerve or its branches, using a flexible micro-channel electrode array and implanted catheter-based blood-pressure sensor. (Medical Xpress)

Collaborators Pursue a Predictive Capability for Spinal Cord Stimulator Programming

Sept. 19, 2016 - A predictive algorithm for programming spinal cord stimulation in pain patients was validated retrospectively in 12 patients, and is set to enter a prospective clinical trial of about 30 patients, according to an article that follows up on a presentation at the 2016 Neural Interfaces Conference by International Neuromodulation Society member Warren Grill, PhD. Grill collaborated on the work with INS member Shivanand Lad, MD, PhD and engineers. The article includes comments by INS President Timothy Deer, MD, on the importance of translational research. (Pain Medicine News)

Article Chronicles Essential Tremor Patient's Start of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

Sept. 18, 2016 - An article about a woman whose benign essential tremor was treated by deep brain stimulation quotes International Neuromodulation Society member Stuart Goodman, MD, her neurosurgeon. The patient, 68, said she only recently heard about the therapy in an advertisement at a movie theater and did an online search to find someone for a consultation in her area. (Billings Gazette)

Article: A Shorter Delay between Chronic Pain Diagnosis and Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment May Increase Chances of Lasting Efficacy

Sept. 15, 2016 - Neuro News reports that an article published earlier this year in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface suggests "a shorter delay time from chronic pain diagnosis to spinal cord stimulation implantation may make it more likely to achieve lasting therapeutic efficacy with spinal cord stimulation." (Neuro News)

Patient Describes Treatment with Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation at New Jersey Facility

Sept. 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Antonios Mammis, MD, was interviewed in a television segment about a patient who was one of the first in a Newark, New Jersey medical center to receive dorsal root ganglion stimulation for lower limb pain. The patient, a former dancer who had chronic foot pain, commented that he feels like he was able to "just get some kind of life back" after receiving the treatment. (FIOS 1)

Columnist Gives Overview of Depression Treatments, Including Neuromodulation

Sept. 14, 2016 - An article about non-medical treatments for depression mentions several current or investigational neuromodulation approaches; transcranial magnetic stimulation; vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. (Troy Media)

Article Looks Back at Teen-aged Dystonia Patient's First Year After Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 12, 2016 - The Denver Post reports on a dystonia patient who received a deep brain stimulation system a year ago at the age of 17. His family says that plus physical therapy have resulted in improved functional abilities. (Denver Post)

Cluster Headache Treatment Guidelines Include Neuromodulation

Sept. 11, 2016 - Two types of neuromodulation were included in new guidelines for cluster headache treatment. Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation in chronic cluster headache was added to the guidelines of the American Headache Society with a Level B recommendation indicating it is "probably effective," based on a single Class I study in 28 patients. A Level B recommendation was also given to deep brain stimulation in this indication. Neither treatment is available in the U.S., the authors pointed out. The guidelines update 2010 guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology. (Medpage Today)

Project Aims to Tailor Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

Sept. 9, 2016 - An article says that prototypes of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeting tool are under clinical evaluation, as a four-year project comes to an end that combines pre- and post-operative imaging data (MRI, X-ray), high-resolution electrical recordings of the patient’s brain activity and bio-statistical data about DBS target areas. (CORDIS)

Paper Reports Advantages of New Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Post-Stroke Hand Rehabilitation

Sept. 8, 2016 - A clinical trial of 80 stroke survivors published in Stroke shows that a new form of electrical stimulation therapy can restore some dexterity to a hand that's been paralyzed by stroke. A sensor-laden glove on the patient's good hand sends signals to stimulators attached to the paralyzed hand, prompting muscles there to simulate movements of the functioning hand while the patient imagines using both hands. (UPI)

Study: Episodic Cluster Headache Patients Responded More to Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Than to Sham Treatment

Sept. 4, 2016 - A sham-controlled study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of cluster headache, published in the journal Headache, showed that more patients who had episodic cluster headache responded to stimulation than to sham treatment, but not more patients who have chronic cluster headache. (Headache)

Researchers: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Selectively Affects Other Brain Regions

Sept. 7, 2016 - Researchers published a study they said shows that when transcranial magnetic stimulation is applied to one area of the brain, it selectively alters communication between distant brain regions. They say they believe the effect occurs by changing the timing of local neural operations. (University of Queensland)

Study: Phrenic Nerve Stimulation Improved Central Sleep Apnea

Sept. 1, 2016 - A study of 151 patients with central sleep apnea showed benefits from a transvenous phrenic nerve stimulator, according to a news release about the publication in The Lancet. The device was developed by Respicardia, Mass Device reported. (Mass Device)

Deep Brain Stimulation Improved Function of Patients With Chronic Traumatic Brain Injuries

Aug. 23, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, discusses a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens in which all four traumatic brain injury patients in the study showed improved cognitive and motor functions, at least six years after their injuries. Three of the four also had improved disability scales. (Medical Design and Outsourcing)

Researchers Report Occipital Nerve Stimulation Aided Migraine Sufferers

Aug. 22, 2016 - In a single-arm study from the U.K., more than 40% of 53 chronic migraine sufferers who received bilateral occipital nerve stimulation implants between 2007 and 2013 showed long-term improvements, with at least 30% fewer headache days. Pain intensity was also reduced. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Authors Review Deep Brain Stimulation in Tourette Syndrome

September 2016 - A review about deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Tourette syndrome summarizes the outcomes of DBS at different targets, explores possible mechanisms of action, and the potential of adaptive DBS. The authors also address future challenges faced in designing optimized trials. (Brain Sciences)

Review Notes Deep Brain Stimulation Could Offer a Therapy Alternative for Alzheimer's Disease

Aug. 19, 2016 - A review discusses deep brain stimulation as a potential therapeutic strategy that aims to restore brain activity in Alzheimer's disease. It also notes the importance of hippocampal damage in brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Pick disease, frontotemporal dementia, Down syndrome and Alzheimer's, disease. The authors also touch upon the limbic formation as a promising neuroanatomical target for cognitive deficit restoration. (Current Alzheimer Research)

Brain Recordings Document the Importance of the Striatum in Parkinson's Disease

Aug. 18, 2016 - A research team recorded activity in the striatum of patients who received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, or dystonia. They found firing spikes in striatal projection neurons in the patients with Parkinson's disease, underscoring the role of this brain structure in the condition. (Parkinson's News Today)

Researchers Report That Paraplegic Patients Achieved Gains in 12 Months of Multi-Modal Therapy

Aug. 11, 2016 - A research team reports that 12 months of immersive therapy, including virtual-reality sessions and use of a brain-machine interface and exoskeletons, led to half of eight paraplegic patients being upgraded to an incomplete paraplegia definition. All the patients showed improved ability to perceive touch and position. Patients gained some voluntary muscle control, which paralleled reemergence of lower limb imagery at a cortical level. (Scientific Reports)

Case Report: Spinal Cord Stimulation Helped Woman with a Painful Peripheral Vascular Disorder

Aug. 9, 2016 - A case report details how an 80-year-old woman with lower limb pain from the rare peripheral vascular disorder erythromelalgia achieved excellent pain control through spinal cord stimulation, with relief maintained at 18 months post-implant. (Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine)

Column Looks Beyond Opioids in the Management of Chronic Pain

Aug. 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Vaglienti, MD, is among physicians whose views were sought for a column about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's March 2016 guidelines regarding opioids and chronic pain, "Beyond oral opioids — Spinal cord stimulators, targeted drug delivery & the future of pain management." (Becker's Spine Review)

Neurosurgeons Use Neurostimulators to Help Comatose Patients in Poland Regain Consciousness

Aug. 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Wojciech Maksymowicz, MD, PhD, and Isao Morita, MD, were featured in an article about implanting spinal cord stimulation systems in the cervical column to help comatose patients regain consciousness. Dr. Maksymowicz performed the procedure on four patients since May in Poland, with oversight from Dr. Morita, who initiated the procedure a number of years ago in Japan. (Sputnik News)

Dutch Researchers to Study Cortical Stimulation for Central Lobe Epilepsy

Aug. 10, 2016 - Researchers in the Netherlands have received €100,000 from the Dutch Epilepsy Fund to study cortical stimulation as treatment of central lobe epilepsy for the next four years. The  researchers say medication works poorly for this type of epilepsy and surgery is not recommended due to the risk of non-reversible paralysis. (UMC Utrecht)

Journal Announces Brain Stimulation Award to Pioneering Researcher

Aug. 10, 2016 - A medical physicist who was among the first to report the clinical demonstration of transcranial magnetic stimulation, in 1985, has received the first International Brain Stimulation Award from the journal Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation. (PR Newswire)

Study: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Shows Promise for Treating Phantom Limb Pain

Aug. 10, 2016 - In a placebo-controlled study of 54 amputees with phantom limb pain, a 10-day course of 20-minute sessions with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the motor cortex contralateral to the amputated leg resulted in pain reduction for up to 15 days after treatment. (News-medical.net)

Healthcare Columnist Features Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 10, 2016 - In a question-and-answer column, a health reporter cites comments from an interventional pain physician in answering the question, "Is a spinal cord stimulator for back pain something new, and is it something to try instead of surgery or pain pills?" (The News-Gazette)

Mote-sized Implants Developed for Bioelectronic Medicine Applications

Aug. 3, 2016 - Researchers reported in Neuron they have developed implantable grain-sized, batteryless sensors they call "neural dust" that might be used to control prosthetics, treat disorders such as epilepsy, stimulate the immune system, or tamp down inflammation. The devices are powered and read by ultrasound. (UC Berkeley)

Analysis Finds Deep Brain Stimulation for Early Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease is Cost-Effective

July 21, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Paul Eldridge, MD and Rod Taylor, PhD and colleagues co-authored an analysis of the cost-effectiveness, over a 15-year time frame, of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease with early motor complications. They conclude that DBS is cost-effective compared to existing interventions, and offers additional health benefits at acceptable incremental cost. (PLoS ONE)

Review Finds Some Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Food Craving

July 19, 2016 - A review of 11 studies of noninvasive brain stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTNS) has a significant, moderate effect on food cravings. Studies that looked at actual food consumption had results that, while inconsistent, did suggest a possible effect on the intake of carbohydrates through treatment with rTMS. By contrast, studies did not show a significant effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on food cravings. (EurekAlert)

Writer Speaks Out About Use of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Anxiety and Depression

July 19, 2016 - A guest columnist describes using cranial electrotherapy stimulation to help with his anxiety for the past six years. He supports viewing electrical stimulation of the brain as a good alternative for many people, especially those who have not responded to other therapies. (Scientific American)

Article: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Be Available Now in Nigeria

July 19, 2016 - An article describes repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) services coming to Nigeria. The article included comments by physicians who appreciated the chance to add to existing treatment options for mental health conditions and pointed out the technology also has applications for diagnostic purposes and motor recovery following strike, pain and seizure. The article said previously in Africa, rTMS was only available in South Africa and Egypt. The article characterized the extent of unmet need, saying 20 to 40% of patients are resistant to pharmacological antidepressant treatments while another 33% show poor response. (All Africa)

Study: Tau Protein Moves Through Extra-Cellular Space

July 18, 2016 - Researchers working with a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease found that increased neuronal activity enhances the propagation and pathology of the tau protein responsible for the disease. The senior author said the findings suggest that investigative treatments for the disease that increase brain activity should be monitored carefully. (EurkeAlert)

Study: Combined Limb and Brain Stimulation Aided Functional Recovery

July 14, 2016 - Researchers in Helsinki published a proof-of-principle study in which transcranial magnetic stimulation, synchronized to electrical peripheral nerve stimulation, helped two patients with partial spinal cord injuries regain some voluntary muscle control after six months. (UPI)

Review Assesses Evidence for Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Pain

July 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul Verrills, MD, and co-authors have prepared a review concerning spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain. The review in the Journal of Pain Research states, "A number of variables have been identified that can affect SCS efficacy: implanter experience, appropriate patient selection, etiologies of patient pain, existence of comorbidities, including psychiatric illness, smoking status, and delay to SCS implant following pain onset." It concludes that SCS is a safe, effective, and drug-free treatment for many types of chronic pain. (MD Magazine)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Parameters for Parkinson's Disease Might be Tuned Via Phasic Bursts

July 14, 2016 - A team of researchers created a computer model that predicts that delivering deep brain stimulation in bursts at select phases of brain oscillation may be most efficient. Their paper, "Phasic Burst Stimulation: A Closed-Loop Approach to Tuning Deep Brain Stimulation Parameters for Parkinson’s Disease," was published in PLoS Computational Biology. (Medical Xpress)

U.K. Hospital Lauded For Its Dedicated Outpatient Neurostimulation Service

July 11, 2016 - Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Brancaster Outpatients Unit has been awarded a Centre of Excellence for its high standard of care in a dedicated clinical room used for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation services for treatment of voiding conditions. (Lynn News)

Heart Failure Company Says Device Had Neuromodulatory Effect and Will Investigate Modifying Its Development

July 11, 2016 - Sunshine Heart announced its device to augment cardiac function will focus on neuromodulation via baroreceptors rather than its originally envisioned approach of counterpulsation to reduce left-ventricle load in heart failure patients. A clinical trial had shown that the counterpulsation device on the ascending aorta was activating baroreceptors, so the observed positive effect had a neuromodulatory basis. The new approach may be more cost-effective to develop, the company said, in describing anticipated upcoming studies, which start with a current physician-led five-patient study of the device looking at sympathetic nerve activity. (Mass Device)

Article Describes a Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure

July 8, 2016 - A reporter observes deep brain stimulation surgery on a Parkinson's disease patient, performed by International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, in Ohio. (Columbus Business First)

Feasibility Study Looks at Using Neurostimulation to Limit Knee-Replacement Pain

June 29, 2016 - The potential of neurostimulation in perioperative pain control was described in a presentation of a five-patient prospective feasibility study of ultrasound-guided percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation following primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty. (Anesthesiology News)

Review Assesses Emerging Therapies That Use Autonomic Nervous System Stimulation

June 28, 2016 - A review looks at vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure and obesity, and concludes that results may be improved through advanced stimulation delivery, with most findings from animal studies still to be shown in clinical investigations. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Clinician Anticipates the Start of a Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Stroke Recovery

June 28, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, is quoted in an article about an upcoming clinical study of deep brain stimulation after ischemic stroke. It is hoped the brain stimulation will augment physical training by increasing neuroplasticity. (Time)

Report: Adding Motor Cortex Stimulation May Deter Tolerance to Spinal Cord Stimulation

May/June 2016 - A case report describes the effect of dual stimulation in a woman with complex regional pain syndrome whose response to spinal cord stimulation decreased. She received an additional motor cortex implant that was connected to the same pulse generator. The two targets were stimulated in cycling mode with independent parameters. The authors say their encouraging results suggest motor cortex stimulation may be an add-on possible rescue therapy in managing this pain condition. (Pain Physician)

Column Highlights Emerging Medical Technologies, Including Neuromodulation

June 26, 2016 - Of six medical technologies a news column calls "worth watching," two involve neuromodulation. One is a collaboration with Battelle involving International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, to use a device to bypass a damaged spinal cord and send brain signals directly to a paralyzed limb to allow a spinal-cord injury patient to regain some use of his hand. Another is SetPoint Medical's work on a small neuromodulation implant to potentially treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. (Wall Street Journal)

University of Toronto Researchers Work on Overactive Bladder Device

June 24, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD, is helping design and conduct clinical trials of peripheral nerve-stimulation technology, developed at the University of Toronto, to potentially treat overactive bladder. The device developers recently received a commercialization grant. (U of T Engineering News)

Article Details Operation of a Neurostimulator to Treat Cluster Headache

June 24, 2016 - An article describes how sphenopalatine ganglion stimulators are being implanted in some cluster headache sufferers at two U.K. centers. (Daily Mail)

Paper Explores Patients' Expectations for Deep Brain Stimulation

June 23, 2016 - A review looks at the experience of 116 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, and nine spouses, and their expectations before and after initiating treatment with deep brain stimulation. (BMJ Open)

Clinicians Complete a Meta-Analysis Comparing Two Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease

June 22, 2016 - A meta-analysis of 13 studies comprising 1,148 patients with Parkinson's disease compared deep brain stimulation that targeted the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus internus to treat advanced Parkinson's disease. (Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment)

Paper Reviews Evidence of Combined Use of Antipsychotic Medication and Electrical Brain Stimulation in Schizophrenia

June 20, 2016 - A review of treatment for medication-refractory schizophrenia explores the evidence from published literature concerning co-administration of electrical brain stimulation, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation, with the antipsychotic clozapine. (Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology)

Concerns Raised About U.S. Insurers' Classification of High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 20, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member David Provenzano, MD mentions a randomized controlled clinical trial by INS member Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD and colleagues in remarks published in an article about letters written by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia (ASRA) to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Pennsylvania regarding classification of  high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain. In an April 2016 medical policy, the insurers classified this type of SCS, which is approved by the FDA, to be experimental and investigational. The letters say beneficiaries should be provided access to this "evidence-based therapy when deemed medically necessary." ASRA pointed out the importance of patient access to non-drug options for chronic pain in light of the U.S. opioid epidemic. (Cross-posted to INS Industry News feed; source: News-medical.net)

Article Describes Pain Relief From Injectable, Wireless Neurostimulator

June 18, 2016 - Coverage of a pilot study of a wireless neurostimulator for pain relief describes how it can be injected into the epidural space, or into "clusters of spinal nerves." (The pilot study concerned dorsal root ganglion stimulation.) (Daily Mail)

Research Suggests Relieving Neuropathic Pain by Lowering a Brain Circuit's Theta Oscillations

June 17, 2016 - An article summarizes research into deep brain stimulation for central pain syndrome and says the authors hypothesize that relief may be obtained through tailoring deep brain stimulation frequencies to suppress theta oscillations in the thalamus and the periventricular gray/periaqueductal gray. Dysrhythmia and alterations of burst firing in the thalamus have been associated with neuropathic pain. During the dysrhythmia, theta oscillations trigger cortical dysfunction, leading to dysfunction of the thalamocortical circuit, which causes neuropathic pain. (Neurology Advisor)

Clinicians Use Proprioceptive Stimulation to Reduce Apnea of Prematurity

June 15, 2016 - Physicians who placed vibratory devices on the hand and foot of premature babies to stimulate limb movement say it encouraged reflexive breathing. They called it a low-cost neuromodulataory way to reduce apnea that is common at less than 34 weeks' gestation. (PLoS ONE)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Gives Video Interview about the Emergence of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

June 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, is interviewed about the emergence, and basic concepts, of deep brain stimulation in a science-column video. (Huffington Post)

Case Report: Sacral Nerve Stimulation Aids Patient Despite Her Partial Sacral Nerve Resection

June 13, 2016 - Authors of a case report published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface describe treating a woman who developed urinary retention after cancer surgery removed part of her sacral nerve. They report the woman's voiding symptoms resolved following implantation of a sacral nerve stimulation system. (Uro Today)

Inventor Award Recognizes Clinical Application of Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorder

June 13, 2016 - French neurosurgeon Alim-Louis Benabid received a 2016 European Inventor Award from the European Patent Office for bringing into clinical practice the application of high-frequency deep brain stimulation help control motor symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. (Quartz)

Researchers in Iran Pursue Development of Deep-Brain-Stimulation Electrodes

June 14, 2016 - Researchers in Iran have been working for two years to develop deep brain stimulation electrodes. In March, they implanted the electrodes in monkeys after tests in mice. The electrodes might eventually be used to treat Parkinson's disease and possibly addiction, according to an interview with one of the researchers. (MEHR News Agency)

Headache Meeting Poster Summarizes Interim Analysis of Neurostimulation Data in Cluster Headache

June 11, 2016 - An interim analysis of registry data concerning a neurostimulation device for cluster headaches was presented in a poster session at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society. Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation received CE mark for cluster headache in 2012. A post-market registry study showed that 68% of 85 patients with the device experienced either 50% fewer cluster headache attacks or decreased symptoms in at least half of their attacks, or both. The population also had a 52% reduction in acute medication usage. (PR Newswire)

Review Explores Safety of Sacral Nerve Stimulation During Pregnancy

June 10, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Tariq Al-Shaiji, MD and colleagues reviewed literature related to sacral nerve modulation and related modes of neuromodulation during pregnancy. Based on case reports and studies reported in animals, they conclude there were no significant reports of negative effects on the fetus, mother, or device. They say hypothesized effects have limited its use although women of childbearing age and pregnant women constitute a fair number of sufferers of overactive bladder and nonobstructive urinary retention. They add that expanded data may move the therapy toward being considered safe during pregnancy. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Documents Treatment Effects of Hypglossal Nerve Stimulation in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

June 10, 2016 - An abstract from the University of Pennsylvania about hypoglossal nerve stimulation system indicates the device yields similar outcomes in a general clinical population with obstructive sleep apnea as it did in a controlled clinical study prior to its approval in 2014. The neurostimulation treatment received approval for individuals who have moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and cannot tolerate using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system. The abstract, being presented at the 30th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, concerns results from 20 patients who received the implant between January 2015 and March 2016. (Medical Xpress)

Review: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation May Benefit Patients with Deficiencies in Emotional Regulation

June 10, 2016 - A review article summarizes research into the influence of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation on emotional regulation and decision making. (Neuropsychiatric Electrophysiology)

Physicians Describe Relieving Pelvic Neuropathy with Combined Sacral and Pudendal Nerve Stimulation

June 9, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thierry Vancaillie, MD, a clinical professor and gynecologist in Australia, co-authored a case report about a woman with a complex pelvic neuropathy. Her diagnoses included interstitial cystitis and persistent genital arousal disorder. The symptoms responded to an intervention that combined decompression of the pudendal nerves along with implantation of a sacral and pudendal nerve neuromodulation device. (BMJ Case Reports)

Article Recounts Emergence of Noninvasive Electrical Brain Stimulation Methods for Psychiatric Conditions

June 2, 2016 - An article about the future psychiatric potential of noninvasive brain stimulation for some conditions in some patients describes two emerging electrical-based therapies, external trigeminal nerve stimulation, and transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation. (Psychiatric News)

TV Segment Features Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Depression

June 1, 2016 - News coverage of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression calls the therapy "a sort of depression fighting helmet" and features one patient describing how she has benefited from the treatment. (KING5)

Researchers Pursue a Clinical Trial of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Depression

June 6, 2016 - The Black Dog Institute in Australia is recruiting patients for a clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation in depression. (Newsmaker)

Researcher Reports That the Rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy is Lower After Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 30, 2016 - At the 2nd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, a researcher from Switzerland presented an analysis of 24 years of data from the U.S. concerning vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in epilepsy. The results suggest that patients who received VNS had a reduced risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. (Medscape)

Newscast Features Research Interest in Potentially Treating Psychiatric Conditions with Brain Stimulation

May 27, 2016 - A newscast describes interest in using brain stimulation for psychiatric conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. (CNBC)

Researchers Summarize Findings Concerning Brain Stimulation in Huntington's Disease

May 27, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jan Vesper, MD, PhD, and Lars Wojtecki, MD, and colleagues have published a review about brain stimulation in Huntington's disease that considers cortical excitability and plasticity in the disease and the potential therapeutic role of non-invasive or invasive brain stimulation methods. (Neurodegenerative Disease Management)

Review Presents Genetic Variations that May Contribute to Differing Responses to Brain Stimulation

May 26, 2016 - A review looks into research concerning combinations of genotypes that have been reported to interact with effects of brain stimulation. An expert commentary says that understanding the genetic factors affecting the heterogenous nature of patients' response to brain stimulation might help with selection of treatment candidates. (Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics)

Scientists Model Nerve Stimulation to Examine Safety Criteria

May 25, 2016 - A research paper about computer modeling of electromagnetic nerve stimulation concludes that a combined approach of accounting for realistic anatomies and neuronal dynamics offers value in establishing safety criteria. (Physics in Medicine and Biology)

TV Show Publicizes Montreal Clinical Trial of Non-invasive Neurostimulation for Gait Rehabilitation

May 23, 2016 - A television news show reports on a clinical trial into a non-invasive neurostimulation device that is applied on the tongue and is being investigated to augment physical therapy for gait in patients who have multiple sclerosis or suffered a traumatic brain injury. The news segment features a former U.S. talk show host and military veteran, Montel Williams. He has multiple sclerosis and became involved with the device's commercialization after having been one of its early study subjects. (CTV Montreal)

Article: Vagus Nerve Stimulation Offers Potential Promise in Addressing Obesity

May 21, 2016 - An article published in the United Arab Emirates describes hopes of being able to address obesity through vagus nerve stimulation, calling the concept "tweaking the behaviour of specific organs by remote control." (The National)

Academic Team Will Study Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Alzheimer's Disease

May 21, 2016 - The Fremont (Nebraska) Area Alzheimer’s Collaborative presented early stage research funding to Alzheimer's disease researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The researchers plan to use non-invasive brain stimulation to explore the role of the hippocampus in memory and cognitive function. (Fremont Tribune)

Young Girl Resuscitated After Almost Drowning Will Undergo Deep Brain Stimulation

May 20, 2016 - An article published in South Africa tells the story of a 6-year-old who will undergo deep brain stimulation for a movement disorder subsequent to a near-drowning at age 2. (Independent Online)

Optogenetics Studies Move Beyond Retinal Applications to Potentially Address Pain or Other Conditions

May 19, 2016 - A news feature describes the start of a safety trial that is investigating an optogenetic intervention to potentially restore some vision to patients who have retinitis pigmentosa, through inducing retinal ganglion cells to produce light-sensitive proteins. Meanwhile, the article notes that preclinical work has begun to potentially use optogenetics to treat pain, via a light-sensitive patch worn on the skin. Other potential indications being considered for an optogenetic intervention include hearing, function of vocal cords, bladder function, and Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders. (Nature)

Twins Said to Be the First in Colorado to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation for OCD

May 18, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member David VanSickle, MD, PhD, was interviewed in a television newscast about treating what were said to be the first patients in Colorado to receive deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder. He said he worked to convince the insurance company to cover the operation for a pair of young adult twin girls who were severely disabled by the condition. The patients said their symptoms have lessened since the treatment. Their story was also featured as a cover article in the Spring 2016 issue of the Littleton Adventist Hospital health magazine. In that article, Dr. VanSickle said the procedure has become "more consistent, faster, much less expensive . . . yet it's highly underutilized as a therapy." (9News.com)

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation Helped Tetraplegic Patients Regain Some Use of Their Hands

May 17, 2016 - A publication reports that cervical spinal cord stimulation and motor training in two patients who had been paralyzed for more than 18 months following severe spinal cord injury allowed them to gain the ability to grasp and hold small objects. By the end of the study, the patients retained some improvement even after the stimulator was turned off. (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering)

Physician Explains Interest in Neurostimulation for Cluster Headache

May 16, 2016 - A local T.V. segment focuses on a cluster headache patient in the Washington, D.C. area whose doctor is thinking of enrolling him in a clinical trial of sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation. (WUSA)

Review Ponders Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Failure

May 13, 2016 - A review of the INOVATE-HF controlled clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation concludes that despite intriguing improvements in secondary endpoints, the approach "has to go back to the drawing board." The reviewer cite the lack of significant differences in the main endpoint of death or worsening heart failure, and the occurrence of device complications in almost one out of 10 patients. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Paper Calls Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy a "Viable Alternative"

May 12, 2016 - A retrospective study of 20 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who received a vagus nerve stimulation implant between 2001 and 2010 at two institutions in Turkey calls the treatment a "viable alternative" for patients who have drug-resistant epilepsy or who either could not have epilepsy surgery or did not benefit from it. (Univadis)

Review Looks at Incidence and Management of Postdural Puncture Headache After Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation

May 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Simopoulos, MD and colleagues found an incidence of 0.81% of postdural puncture headache following implantation of 745 spinal cord stimulation leads at a large academic medical center from 2002 to 2014. The six cases they reviewed all occurred before imaging via contralateral oblique fluoroscopic view entered the practice in 2011. They conclude that with meticulous aseptic technique, managing the puncture with epidural blood patch is safe and efficacious even in the presence of hardware. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinicians Present Data on Neuromodulation Device Outcomes for Bladder Indications

May 10, 2016 - A summary from a presentation at the American Urological Association's annual meeting reported data from a 5-year projection of comparative costs of percutaneous tribal nerve stimulation (PTNS) versus medical management. The data developed in London, U.K. led to a conclusion that PTNS has a greater overall cost, but is more effective than single or dual drug therapy and therefore provides reasonable value in treating overactive bladder. Another summary from the meeting concerned data from a single Cleveland, Ohio institution where 1,033 sacral neuromodulation procedures had an overall infection rate of 1.8%. In addition, the authors found the rate varied by primary indication. Non-obstructive urinary retention had higher rates, although the reason for this unexpected finding was not explored. (Uro Today)

Researchers Pursue Potential Therapies Based on Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 10, 2016 - An article describes some research in the European Union into advanced vagus nerve stimulation for obesity or inflammation. (Horizon)

Urologists Hear Analysis of Sacral Neuromodulation Study Data

May 9, 2016 - A physician who presented clinical research data about sacral neuromodulation at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association said the findings suggest that physicians should probably move to third-line therapies more quickly, after patients have failed just a few medications. The study of 272 subjects was a retrospective sub-analysis of a 5-year prospective study into the use of tined leads. (Urology Times)

Pilot Study Will Investigate Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation in Certain Pediatric Patients Who Have Sleep Apnea

May 9, 2016 - A pilot clinical trial https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02344108?term=hypoglossal+nerve+sleep+apnea+down+syndrome&rank=1 of hypoglossal nerve stimulation for sleep apnea has started in pediatric patients with Down syndrome who cannot tolerate wearing continuous positive airway pressure masks at night. (Medical Xpress)

Review: Further Investigation of Potential Neuromodulation Therapies is Warranted in Memory-and-Learning Disorders

May 2016 - A review summarizes cortical-subcortical brain circuits that are important in learning and memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The paper discusses mechanisms such as firing patterns, neural plasticity and neurogenesis, and goes over the current potential neurostimulation targets in those circuits, in addition to other possible therapies. (Journal of Neuroscience)

Paper Examines Importance of Total Charge Delivery Over Time in Spinal Cord Stimulation

May 6, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jonathan Miller, MD, Sam Eldabe, MD, Eric Buchser, MD, Lisa Johanek, PhD, Yun Guan, MD, PhD, and Bengt Linderoth MD, PhD published an article about spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that considers the overall rate of charge delivery, in addition to the the programming parameters of pulse width, amplitude, and frequency. The authors say SCS parameters that deliver different amounts of energy through different duty cycles may exert distinct therapeutic effects, such as little or no sensory perception of the stimulation. They say considering total charge delivery over time is a concept that applies to both conventional. tonic SCS and newer forms such as high frequency and burst stimulation. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Pain Publication Covers International Neuromodulation Society Journal Article

May 6, 2016 - Coverage of an article about spinal cord stimulation and the emotional aspect of pain in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface includes a comment from International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD. He said, “Being able to modulate the connections between the brain areas involved in emotions and those linked to sensations may be an important mechanism involved in pain relief linked to spinal cord stimulation.” (National Pain Report)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Investigates Potential New Brain Stimulation Target for Bipolar Disorder

May 5, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jennifer Sweet, MD, is beginning a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in bipolar disorder. In the first phase, in diffusion-weighted imaging of neural connectivity, medication-resistant patients will be compared to patients who respond to medication and to healthy controls. In the second phase, six medication-resistant patients who have abnormal connectivity will be recruited for a randomized, double-blinded pilot study of DBS targeting the rostral dorsal cingulum bundle, which plays a role in cognitive control. (University Hospitals Case Medical Center)

Meta-Analysis Summarizes Studies Comparing Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease

May 4, 2016 - A review analyzes 16 studies that compare deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus internus (GPi) in Parkinson's disease. The results show STN-DBS was more effective in reducing medication usage and GPi-DBS was more effective in resulting in a higher quality-of-life score. (Scientific Reports)

Computer Simulation Suggests Mechanisms Underlying Paresthesia-Free High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

May 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jeffrey Arle, MD, PhD, and Jay Shils, PhD, and colleagues have modeled high-frequency stimulation of dorsal column axons. According to their simulation, high-frequency, paresthesia-free stimulation leads to action potential blockade as hypothesized, preferentially occurring in larger diameter fibers, with recruitment of smaller and medium fibers. The effects arise from ion channel gate and virtual anode dynamics. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Ongoing Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease Explained

May 4, 2016 - A clinician involved in a study of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's disease was interviewed about the ongoing 10-person study to evaluate electrical stimulation of white matter in the ventral capsule of the frontal lobes, a region important in executive function and decision-making. (Medscape Multispecialty)

Review: Eligibility for Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorders

May 3, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, DPhil, and colleagues, published a review on currently available guidance about patient eligibility for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease, tremor, and dystonia. (Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences)

British TV Documentary Shows Tremor Relief from Deep Brain Stimulation

May 3, 2016 - The channel ITV will run a documentary of a man whose tremors were treated with deep brain stimulation. The show is part of the series "What Would Be Your Miracle?" about inspirational medical interventions. (Exeter Express & Echo)

Former Canadian Radio Host Appears in a Documentary about Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

May 3, 2016 - A former radio announcer with Parkinson's disease is the subject of a documentary about his deep brain stimulation surgery. The film, "The Voice," is debuting at an international documentary film festival in Canada. (CBC News)

Review Evaluates Evidence Base for Burst Stimulation

May 3, 2016 - A review of five published studies of burst spinal cord stimulation (SCS), involving 117 chronic pain patients, evaluates the evidence base and concludes that further study should use a standardized design, a large sample of patients who have not previously had SCS, and entail long-term follow-up. However, the study notes that new mechanisms may be at play in this stimulation mode, according to animal studies, and says, "understanding other potential spinal inhibitory mechanisms may lead to enhanced analgesia during burst stimulation." (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Editorial Considers Tailoring of Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

May 2, 2016 - Commenting on a recent study into deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression, a psychiatrist notes that symptom improvement in the blinded study was not a placebo effect, and dosage adjustment led to better results. He adds that electrode placement may also be reconsidered as the potential intervention evolves, saying, "DBS is most likely to become a viable choice for highly refractory major depression when electrode location is matched to individual pathophysiology as indicated by functional neuroimaging." (NEJM Journal Watch)

Review Recounts History of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 29, 2016 - A review looks at the development of brain neuromodulation techniques and the current state of the art, including new research into stimulation using ultrasound, micro-scale magnetic fields and optogenetics. (Neuroscientist)

Researchers Report Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Led to More Cortical Excitability and Higher Pain Thresholds

May 2, 2016 - Researchers report a more-robust non-invasive brain stimulation method that increases cortical excitability and may help in devising interventions that raise the pain threshold for patients suffering from chronic pain. They used two electrodes on one side of the head and ran a constant low-intensity current between the electrodes for 10 minutes. Compared to previous studies that only used a single site for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), this method, unihemispheric dual site tDCS, led to more-pronounced and more durable cortical excitation that lasted 24 hours, they report. Further tests showed that participants had an increased pain threshold. (Health Canal)

Researchers Explore Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

April 27, 2016 - A pilot study in the Journal of Alzhemier's Disease explored, in 18 patients with mild, moderate, or severe Alzhemier's disease, a potential alternative brain-stimulation method to restore mental function. The researchers reported that there were temporary improvements in thinking skills and memory after six sessions of exposure to sound pulses at 40-hertz. This gamma wave rhythm has been shown to be a fundamental frequency of a healthy brain. The study builds on 2013 findings showing that vibrations delivered through the index finger stimulated a steady 40-hertz oscillation in the brains, as seen in magnetoencephalography. (The Globe and Mail)

Researcher Explains Obesity Research at Science Festival

April 26, 2016 - A talk at TechfestNW in Oregon presented the rationale for investigating deep brain stimulation of the hypothalamus as a therapeutic intervention in obesity. (Willamette Week)

News Feature Surveys the State of Research Into Minimally Conscious State

April 26, 2016 - An article about minimally conscious states mentions deep brain stimulation that helped to restore more conscious awareness to one patient. (Newsweek)

Authors Recount State of an International Registry of Tourette Syndrome Patients Who Have Received Deep Brain Stimulation

April 25, 2016 - A review details an international registry of patients with Tourette syndrome who received deep brain stimulation. The registry has 157 patients so far, from 10 countries. The review lists 16 studies published since 2007 that have more than four patients who received DBS as an investigational intervention in Tourette syndrome. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Review Summarizes Neuromodulation Studies in Heart Failure

April 25, 2016 - A review examines clinical experience with studies of spinal cord stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure, as well as baroreceptor activation therapy. The review analyzes challenges of determining proper excitation parameters and/or stimulator duty cycles, among other issues. Despite challenges, the authors say much progress has been made in the past five years and that one day clinicians may use both devices and drugs to restore the proper sympathovagal balance in heart failure. They add that enrollment will begin soon in a large pivotal trial, BeAT-HF (Barostim Therapy for Heart Failure; NCT02627196). In it, 480 heart-failure patients will be randomized to receive optimal medical therapy with or without BAT. Results, however, will not be expected for several years. (Basic to Translational Science)

Study: Varying Stimulation Frequency May Aid Pain Control

April 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD and colleagues published results of a pain study involving 19 patients receiving deep brain stimulation. The authors found that low-frequency stimulation modulates thermal and mechanical detection more than high frequency stimulation, as determined through quantitative sensory testing. They postulate that low frequency stimulation may be an option to consider for patients with Parkinson's  disease whose pain is their predominant complaint. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Modeling Indicates that Adjunctive Neurostimulation in Chronic Cluster Headache Would Improve Outcomes and Lower Treatment Costs

April 22, 2016 - Using data from a prospective, randomized, open-label study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, researchers in Germany modeled the cost-effectiveness of this adjunctive treatment for chronic cluster headache compared to the current standard of care alone. Their analysis found that after one year, the combined treatment of vagus nerve stimulation plus standard care was projected to result in greater quality of life and lower healthcare expenditures in a German setting. (The Journal of Headache and Pain)

Article Recaps Researchers' Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Research

May 2016 - A news feature describes military-funded research that examines cognitive effects of non-invasive brain stimulation. The Insight project, begun in 2014 with $12.7 million from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, combines physical fitness training, nutrition monitoring, and cognitive training sessions that include transcutaneous direct current stimulation in healthy volunteers. The 42-month project tracks adaptive reasoning in novel situations. (Smithsonian)

Cadaver Study Measured External Stimulation Entering the Skull

April 20, 2016 - Unpublished data presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society earlier this month in New York City showed very little current entered a cadaver's skull which was fitted with transcutaneous electrodes to deliver alternating current, with most applied current shunted away by the skin. Regarding the findings, one researcher commented that transcutaneous brain stimulation in living subjects is not expected to deliver a stimulus strong enough to trigger neuron firing, but instead to make neurons more likely to fire or form new connections. In addition, he noted that living tissue conducts electricity differently. (Science)

Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Patient in Scotland Appreciates Neuromodulation Therapy

April 20, 2016 - A retired teacher who belongs to the Glasgow Young Onset Parkinson’s Group discussed being able to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS). The article says that at a cost of around £70,000 to the National Health Service, only 10 to 12 operations are carried out a year. (Daily Record)

Survey Underscores Importance of Realistic Therapy Expectations in Parkinson's Disease Patients

April 20, 2016 - Survey results presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showed that Parkinson's disease patients whose pre-operation expectations were realistic had improved quality-of-life scores after their deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. The article states that "most patients continued to be satisfied with their decision to undergo DBS, would elect to undergo the procedure again if necessary, and would recommend the procedure to others. In addition, most participants reported that they would have preferred to undergo DBS earlier." (Neurology Advisor)

Research Team Unravels Dual Role of Brain Nucleus Neurons

April 20, 2016 - Preclinical experiments untangled a dual role for cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus by following projections to midbrain structures. The work indicates that to address gait issues in movement disorder, brain stimulation might target the axonal projections in the substantia nigra. For reward disorders, on the other hand, stimulation might target projections in the ventral tegmental area. (Medical Xpress)

Paper Compares MRI Capabilities in Guiding Targeting of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 20, 2016 - Co-authors from the University of California, San Francisco compared deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead targeting during one year of operation using magnetic resonance imaging from ether a 3-tesla magnet (23 consecutive leads) or a 1.5-tesla magnet (26 consecutive leads). They concluded that accurate DBS lead targeting can be achieved with systems using either 1.5- or 3-tesla magnets, but a 3-tesla magnet provides better visualization of the target structures. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Study: Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Menstrual Migraine Frequency and Intensity

April 19, 2016 - An open-label study of 56 patients presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting showed that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation reduced the frequency of menstrual migraine by 35%, down to 4.7 episodes per cycle. The migraine episodes were also less intense, resulting in 38% less use of rescue/analgesic medication. Another study at the meeting provided evidence that the non-invasive stimulation is stimulating afferent vagus nerve fibers as expected. (Newswire)

Researchers Analyze Effect of Responsive Neurostimulation in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

April 18, 2016 - An analysis of 106 patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy who participated in a clinical trial of responsive neurostimulation showed a median seizure reduction of 70%, according to data presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting. (Neurology Advisor)

Review Foresees Potentially Greater Role for Neuromodulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

April 2016 - A review of electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment-resistant depression concludes that as additional knowledge is developed about the best use of the latter two treatments, circumstances may allow TMS and DBS to become mainstream treatments for treatment-resistant depression in the next decade. (Healio Psychiatric Annals)

Researchers Say Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Cognitive Reasoning on a Word-Analogy Test

April 14, 2016 - An article in Cerebral Cortex says research subjects performed better on a novel analogy-finding task after receiving high-definition tDCS-to the frontopolar cortex, an area whose activity was recently shown to predict changes in creative state. (Science Daily)

Journal Features Work of International Neuromodulation Society Members to Reanimate the Limb of a Quadraplegic

April 13, 2016 - The New York Times covered the publication in Nature of research including International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, and Chad Bouton regarding their collaboration to use a motor-cortex implant and an electrode sleeve to reanimate the hand and arm of a man with quadriplegia. Nature published an associated news article. An article by the BBC includes a video of the young man using the device. Ohio State University issued a news release saying the patient is the first of up to five to participate in the clinical study using this "neural bypass" system, NeuroLife. Bouton was recognized for this work in 2015 as one of five winners of the inaugural INS biennial congress abstract competition. (New York Times)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Target Yielded Lasting Symptom Improvement in Parkinson's Patients

April 13, 2016 - Researchers in Mexico City report that unilateral deep brain stimulation to the preleminiscal radiations (Rapri) in patients who have Parkinson's disease in stages II - III induced significant improvement in contralateral symptoms in the extremities over 2 - 4 years of followup. Fourteen of the 19 patients had more than an 80% decrease in symptoms. The other five had symptom decreases of 33 - 79%. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Advocacy Group's Survey in Ireland Shows Limited Access to Deep Brain Stimulation

April 13, 2016 - An article about a survey of 1,000 patients by the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland says that despite Parkinson's disease being on the rise, only 3% of patients have had access to deep brain stimulation. For the treatment, they must travel to England, which is difficult for patients whose condition limits their mobility. (Irish Times)

Man with Autism Recounts His Response as a Non-invasive Brain-Stimulation Subject

April 13, 2016 - In a "Science of Us" column, a writer interviews a man with autism about his experiences as a clinical research subject who had repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in an attempt to mitigate some of his symptoms that interfered with socialization. (New York Magazine)

Authors Foresee Applying Laboratory Findings in Optogenetics to Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

April 5, 2016 - Authors of a research review posit that optogenetics in animal models can identify neural circuits thought to contribute to behavioral disease, which then might be treated with deep brain stimulation. These possibly novel stimulation targets could be validated in the animal models. Then, the findings might be translated to humans. (Swiss Medical Weekly)

Small Clinical Trial Starts to Potentially Remedy Vision Loss with Optogenetics

March 18, 2016 - A woman in Texas with loss of vision from retinitis pigmentosa is the first participant in a small clinical trial to receive optogenetic therapy. The treatment introduces genes for light-sensing proteins to ganglion cells in her retina. The intent is to allow these cells to signal the presence of light, and thereby restore some ability to perceive light and shadow. Restoring some vision could help patients better perceive and navigate their environment. (MIT Technology Review)

Researcher Looks at Role of Modulation of Neural States in Motor Tasks

March 31, 2016 - In a finding that may help development of prosthetic devices, a researcher in Sweden reported in Current Biology that the signal patterns of sensory neurons associated with muscle spindles changed during learning of a motor task. Earlier, the researcher noted in an interview that insight into these mechanisms can also aid understanding of pathological states, such as spasticity. (Science Magazine)

Physiologist Finds Some Capacity for the Spinal Cord to Adapt After Injury

March 30, 2016 - A news feature covers four decades of research by a physiologist whose neurostimulation studies have led to an understanding that following some spinal cord injuries, the spinal cord can adapt through neurorehabilitation and generate patterns of activity that have allowed some paralyzed research subjects to recover some limited function. (STAT)

Researchers Investigate Stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Chronic Cluster Headache

March 30, 2016 - British researchers report a prospective study of 21 patients who have medically refractory chronic cluster headache, and were treated with deep brain stimulation to the ventral tegmental area after either failing occipital nerve stimulation or having been denied it through the National Health Service. They report that patients improved significantly in a number of factors. The authors conclude that the study provides Class IV evidence that this intervention in this medically refractory condition decreases headache frequency, severity, and headache load. (Neurology)

Article Describes Interest in Bioelectronics

March 29, 2016 - An article describes the development of bioelectronics or electroceuticals following an observation in 2002 that an agent under investigation to limit swelling after a stroke was affecting the vagus nerve and the reaction of the immune system. The observation led to the concept that the nerve could be manipulated with electrical impulses instead of a pharmaceutical agent. (Wired.uk via Unknown Country)

Case Report: Pudendal Nerve Stimulation in Pediatric Patent with Caudal Regression

March 28, 2016 - Physicians report on the use of pudendal nerve stimulation in a pediatric patient to treat the patient's refractory bladder/bowel dysfunction. Sacral neuromodulation was not pursued because the patient had a malformed lower spine due to caudal regression. (Urology)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Researcher Seeks Enrollees with Parkinson's Disease to Investigate a Potential Depression Therapy

March 28, 2016 - A researcher at the University of British Columbia is recruiting Parkinson's disease patients who have been diagnosed with depression to see if two weeks of daily sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation at home will help relieve symptoms. News coverage of his work highlights cautions that researchers and industry-watchers have voiced about the home use of brain-stimulation devices that are not regulated as medical devices. (Vancouver Sun)

Deep Brain Stimulation Affects Oscillation of Distinct Networks in Parkinson's Disease

March 26, 2016 - Researchers in the United Kingdom published findings showing that motor improvement in Parkinson’s disease patients receiving subthalamic deep brain stimulation correlates to suppressed synchrony of distinct brain networks. The findings were based on simultaneous magnetoencephalography recordings of the subthalamic nucleus and cortex. The authors conclude that further defining the activity of cortico-subcortical loops, and their connection to underlying symptoms, might aid development of patient-specific treatment that tailors the delivery and pattern of brain stimulation. (Brain)

Neurologists Document Infection Rates Following Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation in a Diagnostic MRI Suite

March 25, 2016 - Physicians at the University of California, San Francisco prospectively collected data over 10 years from 164 procedures in which deep brain stimulation leads were implanted under MRI guidance in a sterile setting that lacked the air-handling qualities of operating rooms. They changed their sterile practice after the first 10 patients. Subsequently, the next four instances of postoperative hardware infection (2.6% of 154 patients) all occurred at the site of the implantable pulse generator, which had been implanted in a conventional operating room during a followup visit. In the whole group of patients, there were six infections for an overall rate of 3.6%. (Brain)

Ukraine Patient Received Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 27, 2016 - A boy with epilepsy received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system in what is described as the first surgery of its type in the Ukraine. (Ukraine Today)

Neuromodulation Center Joins Forces with Brain Science Institute

Summer 2016 - The Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation officially joined the Queensland Brain Institute in January. The neuromodulation-therapy research center was formed in 2012 as a joint initiative of the University of Queensland and St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital. (University of Queensland)

Pilot Study Explores Medication-Free Maintenance Following Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

March 24, 2016 - A prospective pilot study in Brain Stimulation  randomized unmedicated patients with unipolar, nonpsychotic, treatment-resistant major depressive disorder to either observation, or monthly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) sessions following a six-week acute-treatment phase. The patients in the randomized phase were among 49 responders who were followed for up to 12 months, out of 67 total who underwent the initial acute phase of treatment. Compared to the observation group, the ones who had been randomized to receive monthly treatment were able to go 91 days before intensive therapy needed to be introduced, compared to 77 days in the observation-only group, the article states. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Researchers Investigate Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Anorexia

March 23, 2016 - An article in PLOS ONE suggests repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduced symptoms of anorexia. The researchers saw a statistical trend toward reduced symptoms in the active-stimulation group following one session of rTMS to this area of the brain, which is thought to be involved in some of the self-regulation difficulties associated with anorexia. (Medical Xpress)

Study Examines Role of Brain Structure in Propensity to Make Eye Contact

March 23, 2016 - Researchers in France published findings in which subjects whose superior temporal sulcus was inhibited by transcranial magnetic stimulation gazed less at the eyes of movie actors. The authors say this brain structure is different in some autistic people. They want to explore whether stimulating its activity could serve as a therapy to enhance social interactions by increasing eye contact. (Medical Xpress)

Laboratory Brain-Stimulation Study Targets Circuits Involved in Feeding and Metabolism

March 23, 2016 - A feeding-and-metabolism study in Nature, Nature  "Bidirectional electromagnetic control of the hypothalamus regulates feeding and metabolism," investigated glucose homeostasis through stimulating the hypothalamus of mice via radio or magnetic waves. In the laboratory animals, the stimulation affected a ferritin fusion protein tethered to a calcium-ion pore. The authors note that "pancreatic hormones function as an effector mechanism of central nervous system circuits controlling blood glucose and behaviour. The method we employ obviates the need for permanent implants and could potentially be applied to study other neural processes or used to regulate other, even dispersed, cell types." (Rockefeller University)

Cluster Headache Patient in Wales Wishes to Try Neurostimulation

March 23, 2016 - A woman in Wales says she has not gotten approval to receive occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for her cluster headache. Authorities said 2013 guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not support ONS on a routine basis. (The Leader)

Call for Congress Proposals Issued

March 2016 - For its 13th World Congress, "Neuromodulation: Technology Changing Lives" May 21 - June 1, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the International Neuromodulation Society seeks proposals by May 1 regarding basic science, clinical studies and biomedical engineering presentations about neuromodulation for:

    Brain disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, psychiatric disorders, etc.;
    Chronic pain conditions that are underserved;
    Cardiovascular disorders, including heart failure, angina, and peripheral vascular disease;
    Systemic disease;
    Pelvic organ motility disorders; and
    Neurorehabilitation; as well as
    Mechanisms of action of neuromodulation; and
    Non- and less-invasive neurostimulation.
(International Neuromodulation Society)

Mice Studies Indicate Astrocytes Help Mediate Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

March 22, 2016 - Researchers in Japan report in Nature Communications on an apparent mechanism of action of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), seen in mouse studies. Fluorescent tagging indicated tDCS induced large surges of calcium ions in astrocytes, implicating activity of these non-nerve cells in mediation of neuronal responses to the stimulation. They add that there were no obvious changes in the local field potential. They suggest this tDCS mechanism may play a role in lowering symptoms of depression and increasing learning and brain plasticity. In a mouse model of stress-induced depression, tDCS normally reduces depression-like behavior. However, when astrocytic calcium surges were blocked, it did not. The researchers also found tDCS enhanced cortical responses to sensory input, such as light flashes or whisker deflection. (EurekAlert)

Specialists Urge Progress on Deep Brain Stimulation Center in Scotland

March 22, 2016  - Twenty-five specialists have sent an open letter to the health secretary asking her to resolve a funding dispute that has delayed establishment of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) center in Scotland for patients in north and east, who must travel to England for the treatment. (BBC)

News Release Publicizes Study Data About Neurostimulation Reducing the Emotional Aspect of Pain

March 17, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member, Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in a news release about an article he published with colleagues, including fellow member Louis Vera-Portocarrero, PhD, in the current issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. He said, "spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in certain areas of the brain in those with chronic pain." The researchers examined functional MRI scans of 10 patients who had spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for complex regional pain syndrome or chronic leg pain. The findings suggest SCS reduces negative pain processing through decreasing connectivity of the limbic and somatosensory areas. (EurekAlert)

Brain Stimulation Boosted Recall of a Short-Term Memory in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

March 16, 2016 - Optogenetic studies in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease showed that stimulation of the hippocampus can elicit recall of an earlier painful stimulus (a box that delivered an electric shock). Normal mice learned to fear the box, but the mice designed to model Alzheimer's disease did not. When the memory-impaired mice received the brain stimulation, however, they did not move about the box, indicating they associated it with the shock. Cycling the simulation on and off as might occur naturally during repeated memory recall allowed the mice to retain and retrieve the memory, and dissection later indicated that repeated stimulation led to more connections between the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. (Nature)

Study: Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Enhanced Motor Recovery

March 16, 2016 - A controlled study of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during stroke rehabilitation in 24 patients showed that the half who received active stimulation in conjunction with nine days of motor rehabilitation performed better at three months' followup than those who did not. The researchers applied anodal stimulation to the brain hemisphere ipsilateral to the lesion. (Medical Xpress)

Military Research Agency Seeks to Use Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Enhance Cognitive Performance

March 16, 2016 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) announced a new peripheral-nerve-stimulation research program, Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), and will hold a Proposer's Day on April 8, 2016 in Arlington, VA. The research program concerns noninvasive nerve stimulation, and seeks to facilitate learning of cognitive skills "with a goal of reducing the cost and duration of the Defense Department’s extensive training regimen while improving outcomes," the announcement said. Unlike prior research programs, "it will aim not just to restore lost function but to advance capabilities beyond normal levels." (DARPA)

Two-Year Pilot Study Finds Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Lowered Medication Costs

Feb. 26, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, Fenna Phibbs, MD, and Joseph Neimat, MD, have published with co-authors a prospective, randomized, single-blind clinical trial testing the impact of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early Parkinson's disease on reduced medication costs. The 30-patient study found that over two years, patients who were randomized to only receive optimum drug treatment had their medication costs increase 72% from baseline. In the same period, the patients who also received DBS had their medication costs drop 16%. The cost savings amounted to $7,150 over two years. (Journal of Parkinson's Disease)

Report Issued on FDA Workshop Concerning Brain-Computer Interfaces

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, is among authors of a report that has been published following a November 2014 FDA meeting on brain-computer interfaces (BCI)  for patients with paralysis or amputation. The report says FDA plans to develop guidance for premarket submissions for BCI devices. For the purposes of the workshop, BCI devices were defined as neuroprostheses that interface with the central or peripheral nervous system to restore lost motor or sensory capabilities. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Researcher Explores Minimizing Scar-Tissue Formation With Drug-Eluting Implant

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member James FitzGerald, PhD, has published preclinical data regarding suppression of scar tissue formation in peripheral nerve implants. His work involved a microchannel implant on the sciatic nerve of rats made of silicone doped with the inflammation-suppressing steroid dexamethasone. After periods of up to one year, the drug-eluting implants had less surrounding scar tissue compared to controls. Axon growth was initially much stronger in the control versions, but declined as scar tissue formed, whereas axon counts increased in the drug-eluting devices and by one year were significantly higher than controls. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Computational Model Seeks to Help Guide and Explain Deeper Stimulation from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

April 2016 - A research team has modeled the brain's white fiber tracts, that connect cortical and subcortical regions and are theorized to potentially propagate action potentials toward deeper brain regions during transcranial magnetic stimulation. Their model, they say, combines electromagnetism and electrophysiology by computing, next to the induced electric fields in the brain, the spatial distribution of the membrane potentials along the fiber tracts and its dynamics over time. By factoring in the location and orientation of the coil, specific results for a patient or a case can be obtained. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Executive Details His Company's Vision of Bioelectronic Medicine

March 12, 2016 - In an interview, GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui said their bioelectronics initiative seeks wirelessly powered peripheral nerve stimulators that can interface with a single nerve and might one day be implanted laproscoptically in a matter of minutes. The initiative was presented at the SXSW Interactive technology conference in Austin, TX at a session called "Inner Space: Bioelectronics and Medicine's Future". (IEEE Spectrum)

Researchers Explore Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Aphasia Therapy

March 10, 2016 - Two speech-language pathologist who teach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have begun gathering feasibility data in a pilot clinical study that involves sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation followed by rehabilitation training for post-stroke aphasia. They have been using facilities at the University of Minnesota, and are seeking more trial participants prior to filing a grant proposal for a larger study. (River Falls Journal)

Paper Raises Issue of Guidance for Neuromodulation Implant Patients During Other Surgeries

Feb. 15, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ramsis Ghaly, MD, is first author on a paper that asks, "Do we need to establish guidelines for patients with neuromodulation implantable devices, including spinal cord stimulators undergoing nonspinal surgeries?" The article gives case reports of two patients who have spinal cord stimulator implants and either underwent a hysterectomy or a hip replacement. The implant manufacturers' representatives were contacted pre-surgery. With provisions made to avoid electrical conductance of the device during cautery, the procedures went without complication. (Surgical Neurology International)

Faculty Collaborate on On-Demand Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 8, 2016 - A profile of Daniela Tuninetti, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), reports that she is collaborating with International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantin Slavin, MD, and UIC engineering professor Daniel Graupe in developing an on-demand system for deep brain stimulation. The system is being designed to identify and prevent onset of tremor. Tuninetti was quoted as saying that advantages include longer battery life and decreased side effects, such as speech issues. She added that the technology is envisioned to have broader applications beyond tremor disorders. (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Article Recounts a Patient's Experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor

March 7, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul Eldridge, a neurosurgeon at Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, was quoted in an article about the benefits a woman experienced after receiving deep brain stimulation for her essential tremor. The article stated, " 'On the whole this is an extremely effective and safe surgical procedure,' says Professor Eldridge. 'You can expect it to provide significant relief to 90 per cent of patients.' " (Daily Mail)

Australian Research Institute Eyes Forming a Neural Bioengineering Center

March 7, 2016 - Queensland Brain Institute plans to open a new Centre for Neural Bioengineering next year to investigate ways to deliver deep brain stimulation without invasive surgery to potentially treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy and anorexia. A new biobank is also planned. One researcher at the institute is carrying out preclinical studies of ultrasound as a potential Alzheimer's disease treatment. (The Courier-Mail)

Case Report: Bipolar Patient Resumed Vagus Nerve Stimulation Following End-of-Battery Life Relapse

March 7, 2016 - A case report about a bipolar patient who remained in stable remission for nine years  after 20 months of vagus nerve stimulation therapy says the patient relapsed after the therapy was not re-initiated for several months after the battery died. Once the device was replaced, the patient regained remission after 17 months. "If the device malfunctions," the authors advise, "urgent surgical replacement is warranted with subsequent rapid titration to previous parameters as tolerated. Several months’ delay may trigger relapse and prove difficult to re-establish remission."  (BMJ Case Reports)

Company Receives FDA Approval for MRI-Safe Stimulation Leads

March 3, 2016 - Medtronic plc announced it has received FDA approval of its spinal cord stimulation leads that are designed for MRI compatibility. The company expects to begin marketing them later this month. (Mass Device)

News Weekly Ponders Cognitive-Enhancement Concerns

March 3, 2016 - An editorial and an Outlook article in Nature raise the issues posed by consumer interest in non-invasive brain stimulation for cognitive enhancement. (Nature)

Opinion Piece Forecasts Path for Further Technological Development of Neuromodulation

March 2, 2016 - Cambridge Associates cites cost savings and quality-of-life enhancements offered by neuromodulation therapy, using as an example data presented at the International Neuromodulation Society's 12th World Congress about reductions in healthcare costs among chronic pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation through a Western Canada health authority. The article calls for pursuing better insight into disease mechanisms and integration of technical capabilities to make smaller, more easily accessible devices to fulfill the promise of neuromodulation therapy. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Article Describes Pursuit of Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulating Bioelectronic Therapies

March 2, 2016 - An article says GlaxoSmithKline has established a network of about 50 research collaborations in bioelectronic medicine, and most research is still at a preclinical stage. The article explains that bioelectronic medicine strives to read and correct signals in the peripheral nervous system to treat diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes. The article adds that the National Institutes of Health has established a $248 million research-investment program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). https://commonfund.nih.gov/sparc/grants (Financial Times)

Funding Agency Seeks Applicants to Carry Out Pre-clinical Tests in New Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulation Indications

March 1, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced a funding opportunity as part of the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. Investigators are invited to propose conducting pre-clinical tests of existing neuromodulation devices, from SPARC’s industry partners, in support of new market indications. The pre-clinical data that emerge are expected to generate the necessary safety and efficacy evidence to support an Investigational Device Exemption submission for a later pilot clinical study. A required letter of intent is due April 2, 2016 and the application is due May 2, 2016. (NIH)

Study Suggests Brain-Hemisphere Dominance May Influence Stimulation Effects

Feb. 29, 2016 - An abstract presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggests that noninvasive brain-stimulation treatments for depression should be tailored to the dominant hemisphere of the patient, as reflected in their handedness. In the research, 25 subjects who do not have depression were randomized to receive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to either the right or left side of the head. The subjects had a spectrum of hand preference, with four strongly preferring to use their left hand. After five days of tDCS sessions,  tDCS to the left hemisphere -- the typical approach -- resulted in right-handers feeling better and left-handers feeling worse, while the reverse was true for stimulation of the right hemisphere, according to the article. (Science)

Review Surveys Emerging Neurostimulation Options for Upper-Extremity Neuropathic Pain

Feb. 1, 2016 - Clinical Pain Advisor summarized a review in Hand Clinics that surveys emerging neurostimulation options for treatment of upper-extremity neuropathic pain. The journal article was authored by International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD; David Provenzano, MD; Porter McRoberts, MD; and Timothy Deer, MD. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Longer Delay in Start of Spinal Cord Stimulation is Linked to Higher Healthcare Utilization

Feb. 29, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Shivanand P. Lad MD, PhD; Alexander R. Kent; Peter Staats MD; and Ashwini Sharan MD and colleagues analyzed Medicare claims data from 2008- 2013 over 12 months post-implant in 762 chronic pain patients. Looking at time-to-implant, the authors found that for every one-year delay in receiving a spinal cord stimulator, the odds increased that patients would fall into a high medical expenditures group (33%), receive high opioid prescriptions (39%), and have a higher number of office visits and hospitalizations (44% and 55%). (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Assess White-Matter Modulation During Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 26, 2016 - In 22 Parkinson's disease patients who received bilateral deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an analysis suggests that favorable clinical outcomes are associated with the modulation of white matter tracts directed to the superior frontal gyrus and the thalamus. The researchers say their method using probabilistic tractography with diffusion-tensor data may aid deep brain stimulation programming. (Brain)

Article: More Patients Are Being Offered Neuromodulation for Chronic Neuropathic and Ischemic Pain

Feb. 24, 2016 - An article about spinal cord stimulation options says that technological advances, and guidelines of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, have opened the door to more patients, with the therapy being considered earlier than as a last resort, prior to long-acting and strong opioid medications, leading to a better success rate. (Herald and Review)

Conference Presentation Analyzes Effects of Obesity, Smoking on Spinal Cord Stimulation Outcomes

Feb. 21, 2016 - In a retrospective analysis of 64 patients who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) between January 2013 - July 2014, neither obesity nor smoking appeared to affect the efficacy of SCS or the infection rate. However, smokers had a 22.2% rate of lead migration, compared to 2.1% in the non-smokers. The study was presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting. International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, who was not involved in the study, was quoted as commenting that there would need to be more patients in order to see a statistical difference. (Medscape)

Healthcare Chain Now Offers Spinal Cord Stimulation Services in Qatar

Feb. 21, 2016 - A network of 12 pain management clinics in Qatar began offering spinal cord stimulation therapy in August 2015. (The Peninsula)

Researcher: Electrical Brain Stimulation May Aid Therapy for Progressive Aphasia

Feb. 14, 2016 - A researcher is investigating transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjunct to speech therapy in primary progressive aphasia. She presented preliminary results involving 19 patients at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Star Tribune)

Article Weighs Cost-Effectiveness of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Feb. 12, 2016 - In a "Wise Buy" column, a writer looks at costs of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treatment-resistant depression compared to electroconvulsive therapy. The article says an analysis showed that the cost of achieving one quality adjusted life year was $36,000, and anything less than $50,000 is considered cost-effective. (MedPage Today)

Authors Look at the Future of Flexible Electrodes in Neuroscience Applications

Feb. 11, 2016 - A team of co-authors reviews advances in implantable electrodes based upon soft materials, and their applications in neuroprosthetics, neural signal recording, and neuromodulation. (Lab on a Chip)

Researchers Demonstrate an Intravenous Brain-Machine Interface in Sheep, Say the Minimally Invasive Interface May Help Guide an Exoskeleton for Spine-Injury Patients

Feb. 10, 2016 - Australian researchers have published a preclinical demonstration of a minimally invasive, paperclip-sized brain machine interface comprised of an electrode-bearing stent, introduced into a vein to lie alongside the motor cortex. Their paper in Nature Biotechnology describes their experience taking neural recordings for up to six months in sheep. The project, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, may allow spine-injured patients to control an exoskeleton, or aid mobility of stroke patients. A clinical trial in three patients is planned next year in Victoria, Australia. Goals of the project are described by one team member in a column in The Conversation. (IEEE Spectrum)

External Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Be Tested for Controlling Obesity

Feb. 9, 2016 - An external vagus nerve stimulation system, the NeuroCoach II Stim, will be subject to a placebo-controlled clinical trial for 50 patients in France to potentially help control obesity. The device clips on the ear, and its potential to address obesity was discovered by chance after it was noticed that patients using the stimulation to treat other conditions lost weight. (Daily Mail)

Article Describes Locally Available Pain Interventions

Feb. 8, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Jason Pope, MD, was featured along with INS member Michael Yang, MD, in a newspaper article about the latest pain interventions being available in the Santa Rosa, CA area -- including high frequency spinal cord stimulation. (Press Democrat)

Company Eyes Commercialization of Implantable Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain.

Feb. 8, 2016 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced 2015 preliminary results and a business update. The Dublin-based company said it awaits CE marking and is preparing to commercialize its implantable device for chronic low back pain in Europe, with the first target market located in Germany. Meanwhile, the company received two more U.S. patents, bringing the total number to seven, and is currently preparing for an international prospective randomized sham-controlled blinded clinical trial, to include sites in the U.S. (Business Wire)

Researchers Say Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation May Hold Promise for Helping Treat Depression

Feb. 4, 2016 - Researchers from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical school investigated the effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in 34 patients with depression, who received either sham or active stimulation for a month. The results, in Biological Psychiatry, showed the active-stimulation group experienced symptom improvement. Neuroimaging before and after indicated increased functional connectivity between the default mode network and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, a network that is known to be altered in depression. The authors conclude that the non-invasive, safe and low cost method shows potential promise as a possible treatment option, if efficacy is sustained. (EurekAlert)

Review Considers Current Development of Spinal Cord Neuromodulation for Heart Disease

Feb. 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jeffrey Ardell, PhD has published a review about heart failure and mechanisms of spinal cord neuromodulation for heart disease. The article says safety concerns for bioelectrical treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction have been addressed, but optimization of spinal cord stimulation delivery remains a concern. (Nature Reviews Cardiology)

Article Explains Goal of Using Implant to Stabilize Back and Relieve Chronic Pain

Jan. 31, 2016 - Dublin-based Mainstay Medical has applied for CE Mark approval of a novel investigational neurostimulation device for back pain. The implant induces contractions of the multifidus muscle to stabilize the back. The company would like to offer the device later this year in Europe as an option when treatments such as physiotherapy have failed. An article says the application includes data from a clinical trial involving 45 patients in Belgium, Australia, and England. The coverage mentions International Neuromodulation Society member Sam Eldabe, MBBS, FRCA of Middlesbrough, England, who implanted four enrollees. (Daily Mail)

Neurostimulation for Spine-Injury Patients Receives Research Funding in Minnesota

Jan. 28, 2016 - The state of Minnesota has given a grant to the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center to study epidural spinal cord stimulation as a way to potentially restore some function in spine-injured patients. A summary in Becker Spine Review says clinical trials in other states resulted in patients moving paralyzed muscles and that once the stimulator has been implanted for some time, the patients should experience some improved function even when it is inactive. (WCCO)

Study: External Device Improved Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Jan. 28, 2016 - A proof-of-concept clinical trial of adjunctive treatment with external trigeminal nerve stimulation in 12 patients who have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder showed that eight weeks of nightly stimulation led to significant improvements in symptom severity. The research institution, the University of California, Los Angeles, is seeking military veterans with PTSD for additional clinical research with the modality. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Agency Seeks Proposals for Neural Interface Technology

Jan. 26, 2016 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a Neural Engineering System Design program, and invites proposals for modular, compact hardware that can record from more than 1 million neurons and stimulate more than 100,000 neurons. (TechNewsWorld)

Analysis Compares Healthcare Utilization and Payments for Cancer-Pain Patients Who Receive Intrathecal Drug Delivery or Conventional Medical Management

Jan. 27, 2016 - Healthcare costs of conventional medical management vs. intrathecal drug delivery (IDD) were compared in 73 matched pairs of patients who had cancer-related pain. In the first year after IDD implant, the IDD patients had a consistent trend of lower medical utilization, and total payments were $3,195 mower. The analysis by International Neuromodulation Society member Lisa Stearns, MD and colleagues suggests that despite the high initial cost of IDD, those patients incur lower medical utilization and payments over the first year post-implant. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Media Cover Use of Deep Brain Stimulation for Focal Hand Disorder

Jan. 27, 2016 - A Chinese citizen with focal hand disorder was reported to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery while playing guitar, which he had had to give up due to his condition. His surgeon said this was the seventh known case where DBS was used for this disorder, a condition that was said to not be uncommon among athletes and musicians. The article described DBS therapy, noting that "it is thought that it will remain the main surgical therapy for Parkinson's for the next 30 years." (Daily Mail)

European Researchers Examine Neuroendocrine Changes in Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jan. 26, 2016 - Researchers report that resuming deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder led to rapid release of the neuroendocrine factors prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The authors say the findings suggest that DBS is capable of inducing rapid psychiatric symptom changes through an alternative or additional underlying mechanism. For instance, seeing the increase in prolactin and TSH leads them to believe the observed acute mood elevation may be due to stimulation of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone. They add that one patient who had previously become a DBS non-responder found some relief of his affective symptoms during the day by switching the DBS off at night and resuming it in the morning, thereby recreating a short-term acute stimulation effect. (Nature Translational Psychiatry)

Pharmacy Publication Features Bioelectronic Medicine

January 2016 - An article about bioelectronic medicine defines it as "the use of neurostimulation to modulate disease pathways." For now, the article says, vagus nerve stimulation is receiving the most attention for potentially treating disease conditions. (PharmaTimes)

Researchers Publish Results of Prospective Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial

Jan. 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD; Jason Pope, MD; Ramsin Benyamin, MD; Richardo Vallejo, MD, PhD; David Caraway, MD, PhD; Peter Staats, MD; Eric Grigsby, MD; Porter McRoberts, MD; Tory McJunkin, MD; Robert Levy, MD; Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD; and Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD and colleagues have published Early View results of a partial crossover trial of a novel peripheral nerve stimulation device. They conclude the implantable device is safe and effective for treating neuropathic pain of peripheral nerve origin. In the safety and efficacy trial, 94 patients were randomized in control and active stimulation groups. The results showed that three months of active stimulation led to a 38% response rate (vs. 10% in the control group); and the mean pain reduction in the treatment group was 27.2% vs. 2.3% in the control group. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Hospital in India Announces Implantation of a Vagus Nerve Stimulation System in a Patient with Heart Failure

Jan. 20, 2016 - A cardiac care hospital in India has implanted a vagus nerve stimulation system in a patient who has heart failure, in an effort to increase tone of the parasympathetic nervous system and improve her symptoms. (Equity Bulls)

Review Evaluates Evidence for Spinal Cord Stimulation

January 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jay Grider, DO, PhD; Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD; Alexios Carayannopoulos, DO, MPH; Carl Balog, MD; Michael E. Harned, MD; Salim M. Hayek, MD, PhD; Ricardo Vallejo, MD, PhD; and Paul Christo, MD, along with other co-authors, have published a systematic review of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in spinal pain. They found there was significant evidence -- Level I to II -- of the efficacy of SCS in lower-back failed back surgery syndrome. In addition, they found moderate Level II to III evidence for the efficacy of high frequency stimulation based on one randomized controlled clinical trial. They conclude more studies are needed and said that based on a lack of high quality studies, there was limited evidence for adaptive stimulation and burst stimulation. (Pain Physician)

Observational Study Suggests Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is Effective and Feasible in Neuropathic Pain

January 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Giuliano De Carolis, MD; Goffredo Liberatoscioli, MD; Paola Nosella, MD; and Luigi F. Nardi, MD and co-authors published results of a multi-center observational study of percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) in neuropathic pain. There were 76 patients who had a variety of conditions, such as post-herpetic pain and occipital neuralgia. The authors concluded that the intervention produced significant pain relief and is safe and feasible. (Pain Physician)

Study Shows Headache Reduction from Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Jan. 19, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Kinfe and colleagues published data in the Journal of Headache and Pain that showed cervical non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation twice daily reduced the number of headache days per month from 14.7 to 8.9, and the number of monthly migraine attacks from 7.3 to 4.5. (Business Wire)

Analysis Finds Spinal Cord Stimulation Lowers Amputation Rate in Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia

Jan. 18, 2016 - A meta-analysis of 13 studies comprising 595 patients concludes that spinal cord stimulation is better than medical management alone in preventing limb amputation for patients who have chronic critical limb ischemia, particularly in patients with less severe disease. The findings were presented in a poster at the Annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Pain Medicine)

Authors Present an Overview for Pharmacists of Medical and Surgical Treatment for Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 18, 2016 - An article summarizes Parkinson's disease treatment and informs pharmacists they may see a Parkinson's patient more often after deep brain stimulation surgery, as medication dosages are adjusted. (Pharmacy Times)

Non-invasive Stimulation for Fibromyalgia Studied

Jan. 17, 2016 - A Phase II open-label study of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation in 14 fibromyalgia patients, published in the Journal of Pain, explored dosing regimens for pain reduction. (National Pain Report)

Column Presents Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Options for Depression

Jan. 17, 2016 - An article about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression describes deep TMS as a newer option for treatment-resistant depression. (New York Daily News)

Pair Exhibit a Consumer Device in Development for Vagus Nerve Stimulation through Earbuds

Jan. 15, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Daniel Cartledge, MD, and his brother, a cardiac and thoracic surgeon, have co-developed a vagus nerve stimulation device that was voted a top new digital health device at the Consumer Electronics Show. The product is an earbud device designed to be used with music and improve mood, although the product has no medical claims. The device is expected to enter the market in the next few months. (Palm Beach Post)

Column Asks If More Will Be Done For Patients in a Minimally Conscious State

Jan. 14, 2016 - A newspaper column mentions motor cortex stimulation and describes the ability to distinguish and partially rehabilitate patients who are in a minimally conscious state in which they retain some awareness and ability to respond. The writer asks if society will more fully restore the lives of people who may currently only receive custodial care. (Houston Chronicle)

Company Describes Pursuing a Potentially Therapeutic Brain-Stimulation Headset

Jan. 13, 2016 - A U.K. company founded in 2014, Cerestim, says it has demonstrated a proof-of-concept for an alternating transcranial direct-current stimulation device to be remotely monitored by physicians. The company is initially targeting the product for depression and pending regulatory approval, would expect to market the home-use device in three to five years. An article explains that the headset is intended to identify dysfunctional neural activity and reset that through stimulation via electrodes tailored for each individual. (International Business Times)

Singapore Initiative is Working to Create a Wireless Neurostimulator

Jan. 13, 2016 - An initiative in Singapore is developing a wireless implantable chronic pain management device that is anticipated to be about as small as a grain of rice. The neurostimulator is being developed by the Institute of Microelectronics of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the local biotechnology firm Biospark Technologies. (Today Online)

Patient Enrollment is Complete in Tibial Nerve Stimulation Study

Jan. 11, 2016 - Israel-based BlueWind Medical announced it has completed enrollment of 36 patients with overactive bladder in a clinical trial of its wireless neurostimulation device. The patients in the U.K. and Netherlands will have the device implanted in their lower leg to stimulate the tibial nerve. The company expects to present initial results in February 2016, and is gathering the data to support a CE Mark application. (PR Newswire)

Research Indicates Non-Invasive Stimulation Can Potentially Help Suppress Migraine Onset

Jan. 11, 2016 - In preclinical studies reported in Pain non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) was found as effective as surgically implanted VNS in suppressing, by up to 40%, cortical spreading depression that is associated with pre-migraine aura. (PR Rocket)

Reprogramming Helped Restore Efficacy of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Jan. 8, 2016 - At the combined annual scientific meeting in London of the Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland and the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) chapters from Germany and Switzerland, INS member Frank Wille, MD presented results gathered between 2010 - 2011 in the Netherlands that showed that reprogramming existing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) devices could restore efficacy in managing back pain. He said that in this high-density mode, the leads were implanted as close as possible to the T9 - T10 target, and the devices were operated at maximum frequency, with the pulse width as broad as possible and amplitude adjusted for continuous stimulation. Rather than have devices explanted, 65% of the patients continued to use their SCS systems one year later. (NeuroNews)

Researchers Report Long-term Data on Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

Jan. 8, 2016 - A group of Korean researchers published long-term data on 36 patients with several types of dystonia that compares outcomes of deep brain stimulation to the globus pallidus interna. Their results suggest a favorable outcome is expected for patients with DYT-1 dystonia and isolated dystonia without a known genetic cause. (PLoS ONE)

Optogenetics Study Examines Role of Hippocampus in Social Memory

Jan. 5, 2016 - Laboratory researchers used optogenetics in mice to excite a part of the hippocampus involved in memory formation and found the stimulation enhanced social memory if applied during memory formation, but not during retrieval. (Molecular Psychiatry)

Post-Market Surveillance: External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Compliance Rate is Twice That of Medical Management for Chronic Migraine

Jan. 7, 2016 - CEFALY Technology released data about patient compliance among 14,745 migraine patients who acquired the Belgium-based company's trigeminal nerve stimulation device between March 2014 and October 2015. The external device was FDA-approved in March 2014 to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Full compliance would entail replacing the electrode every month. Based on recurrent orders of electrodes, the company reported a 72.4% compliance rate, twice that of oral preventive migraine medication. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Company Sets Up Distribution Agreement in Germany for Non-Invasive Treatment for Chronic Headache

Jan. 6, 2016 - The pan-European pharmaceutical company Desitin, a distributor of treatments for Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, entered an agreement Jan. 1 to distribute ElectroCore's non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, to neurologists in Germany who treat migraine and cluster headache. (Business Wire)

Medical Society Plans Movement Disorders Registry in India

Jan. 5, 2016 - The Movement Disorders Society of India announced it is planning to create a registry of Parkinson's and movement disorder cases in the interests of optimizing treatment. Besides deep brain stimulation, the society is interested in potential novel treatments and planned a conference on Jan. 8 to discuss those. (Times of India)

Case Reports Detail Considerations for Intrathecal Drug Delivery

Jan. 1, 2016 - Since intrathecal drug delivery systems have been in use for more than two decades, the need to manage patients at the end of the device life is increasingly common, note International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD and Timothy Deer, MD in a case report about a patient who experienced a decrease in analgesia and needed a replacement infusion pump. The authors also report about a novel delivery system for ziconotide, in a separate case report on Dec. 30, 2015. (Pain Medicine News)

Authors Examine Growth of Emerging Indications for Deep Brain Stimulation

Jan. 1, 2016 - There was rapid growth in the percentage of deep brain stimulation patients in the U.S. who were treated for indications under a humanitarian device exemption or other emerging indication in the last decade, according to analysis of hospital discharge records. The newer indications were associated with greater costs, so the authors of this study conclude that "additional costs should be anticipated as surgeons gain experience with new patient populations and targets." (Journal of Neurosurgery

Last Updated on Thursday, December 13, 2018 05:30 PM