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)
Sept. 22, 2017 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced publication of its half-year report for the period ended June 30, 20176. The company had $42.8 million cash on hand and operating expenses of $8.0 million. This increase reflected expansion of the team, preparation for its clinical trial of its neurostimulator for chronic low back pain, and preparation for commercial launch. The launch is being concentrated for now in Germany, where a direct sales force has been recruited and initial customers have been trained. (Business Wire)
Sept. 20, 2016 - Theranica Bio-Electronics closed a round of seed financing for an undisclosed amount. The Israeli company is developing wearable electrical stimulation patches to treat migraine. (Pharmweb)
Sept. 20, 2016 - An overview of advances in pain medicine has sections on developments in neurostimulation an intrathecal drug delivery. (Yahoo! News)
Sept. 20, 2016 - EnteroMedics Inc. announced issuance of a European patent for its implantable vagus nerve stimulation system that was developed to treat obesity and metabolic diseases. (Scibility Media)
Sept. 20, 2016 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced positive one-year follow-up results for 41 patients who completed 12 months in its single-arm clinical trial of a neurostimulation device for chronic low back pain. The device received CE mark in May 2016 and the clinical trial continues to enroll patients for a post-market clinical follow-up for safety and performance data. (Business Wire)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Sept. 15, 2016 - Nexstim Plc announced it is finalizing plans with the FDA for a multicenter pivotal clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation following stroke. The company expects the clinical trial, which is being designed to include a sham comparator, will start in 2017. Nextstim also announced a financing agreement with Bracknor Investment to convert €20,000 of its convertible loan into 51,633 shares at €0.387345 each. (Globe Newswire)
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)
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)
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)
Sept. 14, 2016 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced the first subject with chronic lower back pain has been enrolled in Australia for its clinical trial of a neurostimulator that is designed to electrically stimulate the nerves responsible for contracting muscles that stabilize the lumbar spine. (Business Wire)
Sept. 12, 2016 - Nexeon MedSystems Inc. of Lexington, KY recently filed a registration statement to become publicly traded. The company is seeking FDA approval for a rechargeable deep brain stimulation system for Parkinson's disease. (Med City News)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Sept. 7, 2016 - BlueWind Medical announced its has received CE mark approval for its neurostimulator to treat peripheral neuropathic pain. The device is implanted on the tibial nerve and powered by a control unit worn on the ankle. The company said patients select stimulation for up to eight hour a day, with pain reduction typically lasting for 30 minutes to a few hours afterwards. (PR Newswire)
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)
Sept. 7, 2016 - Bioness, Inc. announced a series of implantations of its peripheral nerve stimulation system to treat peripheral neuralgias. The company said there is a specific focus on these areas or conditions: axillary nerve (e.g. post-stroke shoulder pain); ulnar nerve (e.g. cubital tunnel syndrome); ilioinguinal (e.g. post-surgical hernia complication); superior cluneal nerve (e.g. lower back neuralgia). (PR Newswire)
Sept. 6, 2016 - Nevro Corp. announced that long-term data were published in Neurosurgery from its prospective, randomized clinical trial that compares high-frequency and traditional spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic back and leg pain. Based on data from 156 subjects who were assessed at 24 months, secondary outcomes were reported that included the percentage of subjects who responded for leg pain, the percent of pain relief for back and leg pain, and the disability level over the follow-up period. (Street Insider)
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)
September 2016 - A review of ontogenetic preclinical research addressing the auditory system explores the potential of developing an auditory implant that uses light stimulation, which might pose advantages in delivering more-precise stimulation, without current spread. (The Hearing Journal)
To see select neuromodulation news by category, as well as news about the INS in particular, please visit the Newsroom. To see archived news briefs dating back to January 2011, visit the News Archive.
How Has Neuromodulation Been Developed and Used?
Conventional medicine has typically had four modes of treating diseases or disorders: counseling or “talk therapy”; physical therapy involving manipulation and strengthening of muscles and range of motion; pharmaceuticals that act on a chemical level; and altering or augmenting tissue through surgery, injections, or filtering methods like dialysis. The growing field of neuromodulation is a new class of therapies that involves directly treating the nervous system itself, often through small implanted devices that target a specific area, to rebalance the activity of neural circuits and manage symptoms.
Progress has been spurred by advances in our understanding of the nervous system, as well as new technologies and clinical experience, enabling treatments to modify nerve cell activity in brain, spinal cord and periphery to restore function, minimize pain, and treat disease symptoms. Developed over the last 45 years, neuromodulation has grown rapidly into a family of therapies that applies stimulation or agents directly to the nervous system, often using small implanted medical devices that are powered in a similar fashion to a cardiac pacemaker. By delivering electrical or chemical stimulation, neuromodulation has increasingly been used to treat motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, refractory chronic pain ranging from neuropathy to cancer related pain to severe headaches, spasticity, epilepsy, and incontinence. It is also under study for conditions ranging from gastroparesis to medically refractory depression. Providers of such therapies include neurosurgeons, pain physician specialists and rehabilitation physicians. They may often work with other specialists such as neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, gastrointestinal or colorectal specialists, urologists, primary care physicians, and physical therapists to achieve best outcomes.
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Medical Professionals can learn about various considerations concerning neuromodulation and clinic contacts. Once your preliminary questions have been answered, please use the Contact Us facility to find out more and to discuss specific objectives. Others may simply wish to join the INS and one of its related chapter societies, please use Membership Application.
Clinical trials that involve a wide range of emerging neuromodulation approaches are listed on our Resources and Research pages. Neuromodulator trials address symptom control through nerve stimulation in such condition categories as:
If you are not a medical professional and you are searching for information about neuromodulation and how these types of treatment could benefit a specific condition such as treatment-resistant headache or other chronic pain syndromes, you may find the sections titled Therapies, About Neuromodulation or FAQs particularly helpful.
The International Neuromodulation Society (INS) is a non-profit group of clinicians, scientists and engineers dedicated to the scientific development and awareness of neuromodulation - the alteration of nerve activity through the delivery of electrical stimulation or chemical agents to targeted sites of the body. Founded in 1989 and based in San Francisco, CA, the INS educates and promotes the field through meetings, its peer-reviewed journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, explanatory content, and chapter websites.
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