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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)

National Health Service Proposed Cuts May Eliminate Local Spinal Cord Stimulation Services

Aug. 10, 2016 - A "Fit for the Future" National Health Service initiative that aims to close a projected £14million deficit means that in the region of the Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group outside London, "patients who need hip and spinal injections, spinal cord stimulation or facet joint injections could be referred to NHS centres outside the area or forced to seek private treatment." (Yellow Ad)

Drug Company's Venture Arm Sees Promise in Neuromodulation

Aug. 18, 2016 - A question-and-answer column about neuromodulation investments by the venture arm of Johnson & Johnson discusses potential indications in heart failure. In it, an executive describes the company's anticipation that neuromodulation therapies could address unmet needs in the company's areas of interest, such as "epilepsy, pain, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, as well as many other chronic disease and conditions not well managed by drugs or that are drug resistant." (Med City News)

Article Says Neuromodulation is a Growth Area for Company

Aug. 18, 2016 - An article says Boston Scientific Corporation registered 12% growth in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the same quarter one year ago, which was up from its growth of about 8% in the first quarter of 2016. The article calls spinal cord stimulators a key growth area for the company's neuromodulation business, and deep brain stimulation a potential market. (Market Realist)

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)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation System to Be Presented at Military Health Symposium

Aug. 16, 2016 - SPR® Therapeutics planned to present recent clinical findings concerning its peripheral nerve stimulation system for acute and chronic pain control at the 2016 Military Health System Research Symposium in Florida. (Market Wired)

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)

Deep Brain Stimulation Software Earns CE Mark
August 9, 2016 - Medtronic’s SureTune2™ deep brain stimulation software has received CE Mark approval in Europe. The software offers patient-specific visualization of anatomy, physiology and stimulation field — information physicians can use to configure patients' stimulation settings. (Fierce Biotech)

Article Highlights Alternatives to Opioids for Chronic Pain Treatment
August 5, 2016 - A recent article published in Nature emphasizes the need to look beyond opioids for the management of chronic pain. International Neuromodulation Society Members, Drs. Marc Russo, and Charles Brooker, share their insights on utilizing early interventions for acute and chronic pain, and applying non-opioid therapies, such as spinal cord stimulation, earlier in the treatment continuum. They note that new technologies rapidly are becoming available and have the potential to further refine the management of chronic pain. (Nature)

Study: Use of Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Migraine
August 3, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society Member, Joel Saper, MD, and colleagues reported the findings of their randomized pilot study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) for the treatment of chronic migraine (CM) in the online version of Neurology. In the study of 59 patients, the researchers observed, “Therapy with nVNS was well-tolerated with no safety issues. Persistent prophylactic use may reduce the number of headache days in CM; larger sham-controlled studies are needed.” (Neurology Today)

Mechanisms of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Rheumatoid Arthritis Identified in Study
August 3, 2016 - In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers from the University of Amsterdam, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and SetPoint Medical, reported that stimulating the vagus nerve with an implanted neuro-stimulator reduced levels of tumor necrosis factor, other cytokines and inflammation in 17 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refractory to conventional therapies. They concluded that this understanding of the mechanism by which vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) activates the immune system to selectively block the production of inflammatory proteins will inform further research on the application of VNS for the treatment of RA and other cytokine-mediated autoimmune disorders. (Healio)

Device Developer Merges with Device Component Manufacturer
August 1, 2016 - Cirtec Medical, LLC, a provider of outsourced medical device design, engineering and manufacturing, has acquired Stellar Technologies, Inc., a component and assembly manufacturer, to expand their offerings, specifically in the neuromodulation device market. (Business Wire)

Study Shows Promise for Treating Traumatic Brain Injury with Deep Brain Stimulation
August 1, 2016 - In an article published in the journal Neurosurgery, International Neuromodulation Society Member, Ali Rezai, MD, and colleagues at The Ohio State University, report five-year results of their study on four patients with traumatic brain injury, using bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens and anterior limb of the internal capsule to modulate the prefrontal cortex. All four patients, who had impairments in executive function prior to the therapy, showed improvement in “behavioral and functional adjustment, which in turn improved functional independence.” (Neurosurgery; The Columbia Dispatch)

Pharmaceutical Company Teams with Tech Giant to Develop Bioelectronic Medicines
August 1, 2016 - GlaxoSmithKline PLC has entered a partnership with Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly known as Google Life Sciences), a part of Alphabet, Inc., to establish Galvani Bioelectronics to “enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines.” The companies could invest up to £540 million over seven years if certain milestones are met, and will test clinical applications of targeted electrical stimulation for chronic endocrine, inflammatory and metabolic disorders.  (The Wall Street Journal)   

Study Finds Non-Invasive Stimulation During Sleep May Enhance Memory
July 29, 2016 - In an article in Current Biology, Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine report the findings of their study in which transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) was applied to 16 healthy patients to selectively enhance sleep spindle activity during sleep. Lead author Caroline Lustenberger, PhD, stated in a press release, "We're excited about this because we know sleep spindles, along with memory formation, are impaired in a number of disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. We hope that targeting these sleep spindles could be a new type of treatment for memory impairment and cognitive deficits.” (Nature World News)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation System Receives Conditional MRI Labeling in Europe
July 29, 2016 - Axonics® Modulation Technologies’ Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) System, which received a CE Mark for the treatment of urinary and fecal dysfunction in June, has has been granted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) conditional labeling approval in Europe. This labeling allows patients who are implanted with this device to undergo head and neck MRI scans with 1.5 Tesla and 3 Tesla systems. (Yahoo Finance)

FDA Clears Peripheral Nerve Stimulation System
July 29, 2016 - The Sprint™ peripheral nerve stimulator from SPR® Therapeutics has received 510(k) approval from the FDA for the treatment of chronic and acute pain, including post-traumatic injury and post-operative pain. (Mass Device)

Neuromodulation Business Acquires Radiofrequency Device Company
July 28, 2016 - Boston Scientific has acquired Cosman Medical, a company specializing in radiofrequency devices for the treatment of chronic pain and neurological disorders. Cosman Medical’s systems will fall under Boston Scientific’s neuromodulation business. (FierceBiotech)

FDA Issues Guidance on Adaptive Design for Device Research
July 27, 2016 - The FDA issued its final Guidance for Industry on adaptive design clinical trials for drugs and biologics stating, “Adaptive design, when properly implemented, can reduce resource requirements, decrease time to study completion, and/or increase the chance of study success.” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

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)

Company to Seek Approval for Its Device to Treat Dry Eye

July 18, 2016 - Allergan announced it is applying for FDA approval of a handheld intranasal neuromodulation device to stimulate tear production in people who have dry eye disease due to decreased tear production. (MPR)

Company Releases Second Version of Its External Neurostimulator for Episodic Migraine

July 18, 2016 - Cefaly Technology is releasing the next version of its external trigeminal nerve stimulation device for the prevention of frequent episodic migraine attacks. The Cefaly® II device is available in the U.S. and will be available next in Europe in September. (PR Newswire)

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)

Company Eyes $21.5 Million Acquisition of Non-invasive Neurostimulation Development Firm

July 11, 2016 - Endonovo Therapeutics, Inc. announced it intends to acquire Rio Grande Neurosciences, Inc. for $21.5 million following execution of a definitive purchase agreement, shareholder approvals, and raising more capital. Privately held Rio Grande Neurosciences develops non-invasive technology for the treatment of neuro-inflammation and central nervous system diseases and disorders. The company's devices include an FDA-cleared device for treating pain and edema, a proprietary multi-coil repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation system with pending 510(k) application, which is currently being adapted for the treatment of neuro-inflammatory conditions, including traumatic brain injury, acute concussion, post concussion syndrome and multiple sclerosis; and targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for the treatment of post surgical neuroinflammation. The deal is expected to be completed by Sept. 30 and entails $15 million in Endonovo common stock, $5 million in Endonovo warrants and $1.5 million in cash. (Fierce Biotech)

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)

Company Raises Funds for Commercialization of Sleep Apnea Neurostimulator

July 7, 2016 - Nyxoah, of Israel and Belgium, raised €18 million ($20 million) for development of its neurostimulation system for obstructive sleep apnea. Its implant is powered by a disposable patch placed on the patient's skin. (Fierce Biotech)

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)

Neurostimulation Company to Be Tracked in a Fund Index

June 28, 2016 - The neurostimulation company Nuvectra Corporation was added June 24 to the Russell Microcap® Index. Membership in the index lasts for one year. Indexes are used for investment or benchmarking purposes by fund managers. (Nasdaq)

Developer of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Technology Announces a Patent

June 28, 2016 - Nexstim Plc announced it received a U.S. patent for its way of estimating motor threshold when delivering transcranial magnetic stimulation to targets below the cortex. The method involves a scan of 60 - 90 seconds combined with an electromyography measurement. (Nasdaq)

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)

Company Announces Presentation of Small Study of Neurostimulator to Augment Gait Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

June 24, 2016 - A six-person study presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers was subject to a news release by Helius Medical Technologies. The study involved use of the company's noninvasive portable nerve stimulation system, PoNS, in combination with physical training. At the end of the trial, the company said, all patients could be considered improved, with those who had better functional status at the start making the most gains. (Mass Device)

Researchers Present Studies of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Headache

June 24, 2016 - New Jersey-based electroCore LLC issued a news release summarizing three clinical studies and two preclinical studies regarding the mode of action of noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation in primary headache. The studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. (BioSpace)

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)

Clinicians Launch Study of Rechargeable Neurostimulator for Overactive Bladder

June 20, 2016 - Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc. announced its small, rechargeable sacral nerve stimulation system has been implanted in the first patients as part of a post-market follow-up study in overactive bladder. The study is being conducted in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. (Business Wire)

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. (News-medical.net)

Company Targeting Heart Failure Raises Funds

June 18, 2016 - CVRx has raised $46 million for development of its potential heart-failure intervention, an implantable neurostimulator that targets the baroreflex to restore autonomic balance through lowering sympathetic activity and raising parasympathetic activity. A pivotal clinical trial involving 310 patients is expected to conclude in September 2017. (Med City News)

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)

Company Developing Neurostimulator for Low Back Pain Raises Funds

June 17, 2016 - Mainstay Medical has raised €30 million through placing shares that represent roughly one-third of all the company's shares. As part of the placement, KCK, a family investment group, is taking ownership of half the shares. The company is addressing certain types of lower back pain through commercialization of an implantable device that stimulates nerves to strengthen muscles that stabilize the lower back. (Irish Times)

Company Launches a Deep Brain Stimulation System in Europe

June 16, 2016 - St. Jude Medical has launched a deep brain stimulation system in Europe that has stimulation leads designed to steer current. The system also allows commercial handheld wireless devices to be used as controllers by patients and physicians. (Mass Device)

Startup's Tibial Nerve Stimulator Receives CE Mark

June 15, 2016 - BlueWind Medical received CE mark approval for a wirelessly powered tibial nerve stimulator to treat overactive bladder. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Grant Will Help Support Clinical Trial of Brain Stimulation to Augment Stroke Recovery

June 15, 2016 - Soterix Medical, Inc. announced the company has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to support a Phase II clinical trial of non-invasive brain stimulation for post-stroke aphasia. The company plans to test transcranial direct current nerve stimulation as an adjunctive treatment for aphasia patients. Stimulation will be individualized based on functional MRI results. (Business Wire)

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)

Startup Raises Funds for Development of Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation

June 15, 2016 - The Italian startup Newronika has raised €1.7 million in venture financing to help support development of an adaptive, closed-loop, deep brain stimulation system for Parkinson's disease. The company spun out of the Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan and Università degli Studi di Milano. (FINSMES)

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)

Article Profiles Drugmaker's Bioelectronics Push

June 10, 2016 - An article summarizing an interview by Bloomberg says GlaxoSmithKline plans three clinical trials that combine drugs and other companies' electrical stimulation devices, and aims to develop an implant of its own in 2019. The article said the company's overall investment would be "on par" with the amount that is often seen quoted for "molecular" medicines, that is, in the billions of dollars. It adds that determining how to modulate individual neurons will be a challenge, but it is hoped that ensuing generations of devices can be modified slightly to treat other diseases, making those versions less costly to produce than a medication. The company is limiting its focus to systems that treat the peripheral nervous system. (Mass Device)

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)

Article Features Company's Work on a Neurostimulator for Post-Amputation Pain

May 26, 2016 - An article profiles development by Neuros Medical of emerging electrical devices to block post-amputation pain. (Tech Ohio)

Company Prices Public Offering of Convertible Senior Notes

June 8, 2016 - Nevro Corp. announced its public offering of convertible senior notes will pay an interest rate of 1.75% a year. In addition, the company revised the amount it expected to raise from $125 million to $150 million. (Mass Device)

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)

Device Company Announces Upcoming Financing Round

June 7, 2016 - Nevro Corp. announced it plans to offer $125 million in convertible senior notes to support repayment of a term loan agreement, general corporate purposes, and continued commercialization of its high-frequency spinal cord stimulation system. (Mass Device)

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)

Rechargeable Sacral Nerve Stimulation System Receives CE Mark

June 6, 2016 - Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc. announced it has received CE mark approval for its rechargeable sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) system. The system is designed to treat overactive bladder, urinary retention, and fecal incontinence. The company also announced publication of a study in Neurology and Urodynamics in April that modeled comparative costs of a rechargeable SNS system versus a non-rechargeable one. (Mass Device)

Visual Prosthetics Company Raises $19.4 Million

June 1, 2016 - Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. said it netted about $19.4 million in a rights offering that was oversubscribed. The company will use the proceeds on the research and development of its visual prosthetics. (Business Wire)

Company Plans Reorganization of Unit That Includes Neuromodulation

June 1, 2016 - Medtronic said its restorative therapies group, which includes neuromodulation, posted a 1% gain over the previous year. This was the smallest growth margin of the company's four divisions. The restorative therapies group will be reorganized into a general-manager model and the focus will shift to diseases and conditions over technology. The company will focus its pain stimulation strategies toward the opioid epidemic. (Twin Cities Business)

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.

Learn More . . .

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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Indexed in MEDLINE

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Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
contains articles of the highest scientific caliber. The journal's sole purpose is to advance the basic and clinical science of the field of neuromodulation. In eight issues a year, it publishes scientific works, scientific reviews, and abstracts of papers accepted for review at national and international congresses.

Neuromodulation is indexed in Index Medicus, MEDLINE and Pubmed!

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Last Updated on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 09:41 AM
 
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