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Article Predicts Neuromodulation Will Change Neurologists' Approach to Headache Management

March 2015 - Citing a "rapidly growing bank of data about devices for neuromodulation," an article about the Eighth Annual Winter Conference of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific says this intervention may soon change the way neurologists manage patients with headache, by potentially starting first with the least invasive devices before trying medications or progressively more invasive methods. (Neurology Reviews)

Research Study Links Serotonin Neuromodulation in the Brain to the Alleviation of Neuropathic Pain

March 2015 - A paper in Cell reports that increasing seritoninergic neuromodulation in the anterior cingulate cortex of laboratory animals restored normal integration of synaptic inputs following the development of neuropathic pain, such as from sciatic nerve injury. In the forebrain, in response to mechanical pain, enhanced excitation and neuronal firing was seen in the dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons, specifically in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-regulated channels, and that hypersensitivity was alleviated by activating serotonin receptors. (Cell)

Co-Authors Ask: "Is Deep Brain Stimulation a Treatment Option for Addiction?"

March 15, 2015  - An article by International Neuromodulation Society member Jens Kuhn, MD, and colleagues in the Netherlands describes the difficulty in recruiting and retaining clinical trial subjects who have cocaine or heroin addiction for studies of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in addiction, compared to the dedication observed in patients who pursue DBS for obsessive compulsive disorder. Differences in social support and other factors are discussed. (Addiction)

Blog Describes Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device Under Development

March 27, 2015 - A Belgium-based business pursuing neuromodulation applications, Nyxoah, was featured in a blog by the Health Cluster of Wallonia. The 20-person, clinical-stage company has R&D facilities in Israel and is developing an implant to treat obstructive sleep apnea that is wirelessly powered by an adhesive patch and activation chip worn at night. (Win Health)

Company Starts Pilot Study in Overactive Bladder

March 26, 2015 - Bioness, Inc. said four patients have successfully received tibial nerve stimulation implants in a Canadian pilot study of the company's StimRouter Neuromodulation System in refractory overactive bladder. The system uses an implanted lead and external pulse transmitter. (Business Wire)

Neural Synchronicity Study Explores Role of Low-Frequency Deep Brain Stimulation

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jamie Henderson, MD, and Hong Yu, MD, are among authors of a study that examined intraoperative effects of 60 Hz stimulation during implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of Parkinson's disease patients. The authors observed an effect on baseline neural synchronicity. The low-frequency stimulation reinforced or inhibited synchronicity of patient-specific cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic-cortical loop(s) that contribute to the baseline resting state neural synchrony in the STN. It is for this reason, they propose, that effects of 60 Hz DBS may vary from high frequency DBS in different patients on managing such symptoms as either freezing of gait and speech on one hand or tremor on the other. (PLOS One)

A Multimodal Approach to Noninvasive Brain Stimulation is Proposed

March 25, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Minnesota propose a new concept for noninvasively targeting deeper brain structures through activation of various pathways, such as auditory, visual, somatosensory, motor, cognitive and limbic. They activated auditory and somatosensory pathways in guinea pigs and observed differential, timing dependent plasticity in neural firing within the auditory system, both in the deep brain and cortical areas. Their proposed approach would be called Multimodal Synchronization Therapy (mSync). They say incorporating multiple types of pathways using different, precisely timed, activation patterns may enable treatment of various brain disorders. (Scientific Reports)

Meeting Presentation Shares Results of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member B. Todd Sitzman, MD, MPH reported results of a randomized controlled clinical trial of 171 chronic pain patients that compared high frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to conventional SCS at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting in March. He said the high frequency device in the study, recently developed by Nevro Corp., was statistically superior in meeting study endpoints through up to 12 months of followup. (National Pain Report)

Physicians Document Successful Spinal Cord Stimulation Implant in a Scoliosis Patient

March 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Sanjay Sanstry, MD and colleagues report on a case of successfully implanting a spinal cord stimulator in a chronic pain patient despite an abnormally curved spine due to scoliosis. They report that patience and knowledge of spinal anatomy were essential in placing the stimulator appropriately for pain relief. (Anesthesiology News)

Noninvasive Neurostimulation Reduced Symptoms of Rare Balance Disorder

March 25, 2015 - Researchers in Australia report a preliminary study of 13 patients who have a rare condition that causes a persistent perception of motion for weeks, months or years after leaving a moving boat, car or airplane, mal de debarquement syndrome. Although the cause is unknown, neuroplasticity may be a contributing factor. The research team say that compared to sham, four weeks of twice-daily sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex led to improved balance and confidence in daily activities in this group of patients. (Journal of Neuropsychology)

News Reports Detail Use of Rechargeable Deep Brain Stimulator in India

March 25, 2015 - In Mumbai, a retiree with Parkinson's disease and an adolescent with dystonia both received rechargeable deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems to treat their condition. The boy received four stimulation programs that his parents can choose between since he lives too far to return frequently for programming checkups, which commonly are done in Western countries for dystonia patients who receive DBS. Their systems' batteries are expected to last about 25 years, so the patients do not anticipate needing repeat surgery every few years to replace their implantable pulse generator. (Daily News & Analysis)

University Collaborators Explore Nanotube Strand as a Potential Closed-Loop Neurostimulation Lead

March 25, 2015 - Spun nanotubes combine into strong, soft, conductive fibers about one-fourth the diameter of a human hair, which may be suitable for biomedical devices when the strands are insulated with a polymer coating. Materials science and preclinical biomedical researchers at Rice University are collaborating on demonstrating the proof-of-concept for using such components in lieu of typical brain-stimulation leads. Their bidirectional neurostimulation work in a rat model of Parkinson's disease was published online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. (Controlled Environments)

Review Examines Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation Research in Obesity

March 25, 2015 - Co-authors from Stanford University review the potential of targeting the hypothalamus or reward circuitry of the brain through deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obesity, in light of recent clinical trials of DBS for chronic cluster headache, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Cureus)

Noninvasive Neurostimulation Reduced Tinnitus Symptoms

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christian Hauptmann, PhD and co-authors report in BioMed Research International on a multicenter clinical trial of 12 months of non-invasive neurostimulation in 189 patients in Germany who have chronic tonal tinnitus. The patients received acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation, which delivers tones centered around the characteristic frequency of the patient's tinnnittus percept. This is designed to reduce neural synchrony within the primary auditory cortices. According to a news release from a clinic in the UK that offers this treatment, the treatment  reduced symptoms such as severity, loudness and annoyance by nearly 40%. (PR Newswire)

Will Nanoparticles Enable Wireless and Minimally Invasive Deep Brain Stimulation?

March 24, 2015 - An article reports on two streams of research that aim to introduce nanoparticles to neuronal tissue and expose it to light, heating the metallic nanoparticles and making the heat-sensitive neurons fire nervous impulses as a result. The article says the work might eventually allow "wireless and minimally invasive" deep brain stimulation of the human brain. Initially, one group plans to apply the technique to treat loss of light-sensitive cells in the retina. (The Guardian)

Summary of Published Study Recaps Benefits of Sacral Neuromodulation for Mild-to-Moderate Overactive Bladder

March 24, 2015 - A recent synopsis of a previously published study of sacral neuromodulation (SNM) in overactive bladder concludes that SNM is safe and effective in patients who have mild to moderate symptoms, and shows a superior reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life compared to standard medical treatment. (Practice Update)

Meeting Presentation Covers Neuromodulation Device to Treat Heart Failure

March 23, 2015 - The first randomized controlled trial of carotid baroreflex stimulation therapy for heart failure treatment was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Sessions in March in San Diego and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology ‒ Heart Failure. The multicenter trial of 146 patients showed safety and improved functional status from the intervention that stimulates the carotid sinus to balance activity of the autonomic nervous system. The system helps reduce sympathetic activity and enhance vagal tone, and was described in the article as "a more global form of neuromodulation" than vagal nerve stimulation that targets only the parasympathetic nervous system. (Cardiac Rhythm News)

Study Shows Cortical Involvement in Chronic Pain Patients

March/April 2015 - An observational study seeking to better understand supraspinal mechanisms when long-term spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is beneficial in chronic pain examined cortical signaling in nine patients, comparing evoked potentials with SCS and after SCS is halted for 24 hours. The study showed SCS influenced both pain thresholds and cortical signalling. The data suggest regions involved with cognitive/associative processing of pain were involved. (Pain Physician)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Improved Existing Pain in Parkinson's Disease Patients

March 23, 2015 - In long-term followup of 24 patients who received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, patients experienced a reduction in preexisting pain after receiving the implant. In a followup eight years later, however, three-quarters of the patients had developed new pain in the muscles and joints for unknown reasons. (HealthDay)

Study Points to Potential Role for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

March 18, 2015 - A research team in Australia determined that six weeks of peripheral nerve stimulation reversed axonal dysfunction following spinal cord injury, potentially ameliorating such post-injury effects as development of neuropathic pain or muscle atrophy, thereby enhancing rehabilitation outcomes. (Journal of Neurophysiology)

Company With Novel Implanted Stimulator for Pain Plans to Add Staff

March 18, 2015 - Stimwave Technologies of Miami Beach, FL announced plans to double in size by hiring 20 staff members, primarily for clinical support, over the coming year, and plans to move to Fort Lauderdale in May. The company relocated to Florida about a year ago from Arizona in order to be in a location that is central to customers in the U.S., Central America and Europe. The company has a 12-cm Freedom Stimulator for spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic pain, and plans to release a peripheral nerve stimulator later this year. (South Florida Business Journal)

Multicenter Study Provides Evidence for Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

March 3, 2015 - A multicenter study of 55 dystonia patients who were followed for up to 92 months provided Class IV evidence that long-term deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the internal pallidum improved the condition in patients with monogenic isolated dystonia types DYTi and DYT6, as well as patients without known monogenic cause (non-DYT). The effect of DBS in the eight DYT6 patients appeared less predictable, suggesting that generic testing and counseling for known dystonia gene mutations may be indicated. Regardless of what type of dystonia the patients had, those with a shorter duration between onset and surgery had better control postoperatively. (Neurology)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Rouses Popular Interest

March 7, 2015 - An article in a quarterly technology supplement of The Economist describes the state of interest in transcranial direct current stimulation, particular from home hobbyists or consumer-oriented startups. The article summarizes meta-analyses of published studies that cast doubt on claims of cognitive enhancement, but also quotes experimenters who say the stimulation can enhance some functional performance under some conditions. (The Economist)

University Talk Reviews State of Deep Brain Stimulation for Severe Depression

March 17, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, was quoted about the desire to identify potential responders in advance in an article that reported on a University of British Columbia talk by neurologist Helen Mayberg about deep brain stimulation (DBS) research in depression. Dr. Honey, who is based in Vancouver, participated in an early clinical trial in this indication. The article says that in addition to Mayberg's studies, researchers are interested in the potential of DBS for obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, Tourette syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. (Vancouver Sun)

Engineers Demonstrate an Adhesive Electrode That Might Provide an External "Brain Computer Interface"

March 16, 2015 - Materials scientists have reported a soft, wearable electrode that stays on for more than two weeks and recorded EEGs of three volunteers when attached to the scalp behind the ear. The foldable collection of gold electrodes stays on using van der Waals forces, which are also used in nature to help geckoes climb vertical walls. The development was described as a potential "persistent" brain computer interface. (IEEE Spectrum)

Device Company Receives Technology Development Grant

March 16, 2015 - Highland Instruments, Inc. announced a fast-track SBIR grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to evaluate its ElectroSonic Stimulation (“ESStim™”) for noninvasive brain stimulation to suppress pain from osteoarthritis of the knee. The technology combines independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasonic fields that focus and boost neurostimulation currents via tuned electromechanical coupling in neural tissue. (Business Wire)

Company Says it is Bullish on Electroceuticals

March 12, 2015 - "You can easily see these devices getting really small and really smart," NIH neural engineering program director Kip Ludwig, PhD commented in an article about GlaxoSmithKline's interest in potentially ushering in a new wave of miniature, autonomous, bioelectronic neuromodulation treatments. GSK head of bioelectronics research and development Kristoffer Famm, PhD described the work as trying to "basically redefine neuromodulation." The article's sources said these treatments may enter clinics in a decade if hurdles such as improvements in capabilities of power sources are solved. (CNBC)

Review Notes Relief Provided by Spinal Cord Stimulation for Refractory Ischemic Pain

March 10, 2015 - Spinal cord stimulation "provides in part long-term pain relief in otherwise intractable chronic pain of ischemic origin with a relatively low complication rate," according to a literature review by authors from the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University Hospital in Bonn, Germany. (The Clinical Journal of Pain)

International Neuromodulation Society Member to Summarize Deep Brain Stimulation in Webinar

March 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jamie Henderson, MD will co-lead a webinar March 19 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research on "Treating the Brain: New Approaches to Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond." The hour-long session is intended for primary care physicians, family practice physicians, general medicine physicians, geriatricians, general neurologists, movement disorder specialists, and other practitioners who manage patients with Parkinson's disease. (Michael J. Fox Foundation)

Company Announces First Implants of Wireless Neurostimulator

March 10, 2015 - Stimwave Technologies Incorporated announced the first patients have been implanted with its wireless stimulator designed to manage chronic back and leg pain. The patients were implanted in January 2015 in Tampa, Florida under the care of International Neuromodulation Society member Sunil Panchal, MD. The company said in its announcement that the device essentially allows MRI examinations to be performed on all parts of the patient, under a 3-Tesla MRI conditional rating. An evaluation of the device's MRI compatibility was published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by INS member, and lead author, Frank G. Shellock, PhD. (Business Wire)

Researchers Report Successful Outcome of Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients with Genetically-Caused Tremor

March 2015 - Researchers associated with the University of Tübingen report on bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus ventralis intermedius in three patients who had fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. The neurostimulation resulted in sustained improvement of both tremor and ataxia in a follow-up that lasted as long as four years. The authors conclude their data on patients who have a genetic cause of tremor "may contribute to improved patient stratification for neurostimulation therapy in the future." (Parkinsonism & Related Disorders)

Show Features One of the First Patients to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation for Anorexia

March 7, 2015 - Three years after she became the third clinical trial subject to undergo deep brain stimulation for anorexia, a young woman is profiled in a television special. Since her surgery and intensive in-patient participation in an eating disorders program, a total of 17 other patients have now participated in the clinical trial of the intervention that her neurosurgeon cautions is thought of as a symptomatic treatment. (CTV 5)

Decision-Analysis Study Examines Potential Effectiveness of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

March 6, 2015 - If deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Alzheimer's disease brings the condition to a mild state or better for a year before continuing on its natural course, that would considered a success according to a decision analysis model that compared alternative courses of treatment and quality of life. The authors conclude that a success rate of 20 - 75% would be cost-effective for DBS in this condition, and above 80%, the treatment would be both clinically more effective, and more cost-effective, than standard treatment. (Journal of Neurology)

Foundations Team Up to Support Research Into Neurostimulation for Spine-Injured Patients

March 5, 2015 - The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation are supporting eight of 36 individuals living with spinal cord injury who will undergo a clinical trial expected to start this year that explores whether, in certain spine-injured patients, epidural stimulation can be used to recover a significant level of autonomic control. (PR Newswire)

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation Decreased Moderate, Predominantly Lower-Limb, Spasticity

Feb. 27, 2015 - In a retrospective case series of 71 patients with spasticity who were followed up from 2 to 7 years, a team at the Burdenko Neurosurgery Institute in Moscow found that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) improved symptoms in all 19 patients whose spasticity was caused by spinal injury. Meanwhile, in a group of 52 patients who had spasticity of the lower limbs or all four limbs due to cerebral palsy, only the patients whose spasticity was confined to the lower limbs showed a significant improvement in symptoms. In a small group of patients (11%), the spasticity improved to the point that no further SCS was needed. The authors conclude that this phenomenon should be investigated further. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Focal Modulation With Novel Means May Help to Develop Future Neural-Circuit-Specific Therapeutic Interventions

April 2015 - DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) are synthetic molecules that modulate cellular activity by affecting signaling cascades; a recent review describes how this slower-onset modulation regulates behavior over time. A perspective article in the Feb. 24, 2015 issue of Nature Neuroscience says both "designer receptor technologies" and optogenetics, aid in development of new interventions or may form the basis of new therapeutics. These tools, the article states, "provide unprecedented and much needed specificity, allowing for spatial, temporal and cell type-selective modulation of neuronal circuits." (Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences)

Report Details Deep Brain Stimulation in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

March 2, 2015 - A neurosurgeon in India describes an observational study in four patients from 2010 to 2012 who had progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in which mobility problems do not respond to medication. Bilateral stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus (between the lower midbrain and the brainstem) at 20-45 Hz improved gait in the patients at 6 months followup. Two patients with a subtype of the degenerative disorder lost improvements at 18 months. The author concludes the procedure can be safely performed in PSP patients despite mid-brain atrophy. (The Times of India)

Article Recounts Amputee's Positive Experience With Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Feb. 27, 2015 - An amputee who suffered phantom pain from his missing lower leg for 20 years could not find relief from spinal cord stimulation, but has benefitted from participating in a clinical trial of dorsal root ganglion stimulation, he said, with his pain diminishing from 9 out of 10 to 2 out of 10.(Runcorn and Widnes World)

Weekend Magazine Article Recaps Research Into Auditory Brainstem Implants in Young Children

Feb. 27, 2015 - An article describes a clinical trial that extends auditory brainstem implantation, which has mainly been carried out on adults with auditory nerve tumors, to young children whose auditory nerves are missing or defective, making them ineligible for a cochlea implant. An audiologist involved in the study and her colleague explained that the sounds are presented in a more-scrambled fashion than is experienced with a cochlear implant, requiring time and intensive rehabilitation for the children to learn to interpret and distinguish different characteristics of what they sense through the device. (FT Magazine)

Research Offers Evidence About Side-Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 27, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Dr. Yasukazu Kajita and Dr. Masaru Yamamoto and colleagues report in the Journal of Neurology on characteristics of voice and speech disorders associated with subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson’s disease patients. Comparing off- and on-stimulation in 68 patients with DBS and contrasting that with 40 patients who were treated with medical therapy alone showed the STN DBS was associated with abnormal laryngeal muscle contraction, with more widespread voice impairment occurring in women. A related paper in the same issue about the Netherlands Subthalamic and Pallidal Stimulation trial provides Class I evidence that there is no large difference in neuropsychological outcome between globus pallidus pars interna DBS and subthalamic nucleus DBS after 12 months in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. (European Parkinson's Disease Association)

Company Eyes Overactive Bladder Application, and Is Expanding to Germany

Feb. 27, 2015 - nUro, Inc. is adapting its CE Marked Synapse™ system to a wireless neurostimulation system for the treatment of overactive bladder. The company plans to begin trading on the US OTC Markets QB Stock Exchange by Aug. 1, 2015. It is opening a German subsidiary in the Erlangen Medical Valley Center, and plans to also begin trading in 2015 on a German stock exchange. (PR Web)

Experts Present Neuromodulation Interventions in Overactive Bladder

Feb. 26, 2015 - Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) and pudendal nerve stimulation were discussed by panelists addressing refractory overactive bladder. SNM was recommended after botulinum toxin fails to relieve symptoms; reprogramming or a revision may restore efficacy in some patients. An experienced clinician said pudendal nerve stimulation (off-label in the U.S.) was effective in 93.8% of patients who had failed SNM. (Uro Today)

Review Article Considers an Emerging Brain-Stimulation Target in Behavioral Disorders

February 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD co-authored a review of nucleus accumbens, an emerging target of interest for focal modulation with deep brain stimulation or novel biological therapies such as gene therapy or cell transplantation. The article states that this component of the ventral striatum has been "implicated in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, obesity, and in drug abuse and addiction." The review appears in the February issue of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, where in a position statement, the Psychiatric Neurosurgery Committee and Board of Directors of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery "express their enthusiastic and unwavering commitment to research exploring the neuromodulatory treatment of psychiatric disease." (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Company Receives CE Mark for Vagus Nerve Stimulation System in Heart Failure

Feb. 26, 2015 - Cyberonics, Inc. announced it has received CE mark approval of its vagus nerve stimulation for use as adjunctive therapy in treatment-resistant patients with heart failure with left ventricular dysfunction. The company's Vitaria system delivers autonomic regulation therapy, which was shown in the open-label ANTHEM-HF clinical study to improve a number of symptoms at six months of treatment. (Pharmabiz.com)

Neuromodulation Company to Merge with Global Device Company

Feb. 26, 2015 - Cyberonics Inc. plans to merge with create a new company domiciled in the UK by buying* Italian medical device company Sorin SpA in an all-stock deal to create a new company with a combined equity of $2.7 billion. The new company will apply for dual-listing on the Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange, the companies said in a statement. The newly formed company will include a portfolio addressing heart failure and sleep apnea, according to a news release by Sorin Group. *Note: Reuters later ran an updated story to clarify that this is a merger: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-sorin-m-a-cyberonics-idUSKBN0LU0QE20150226 (Reuters)

Hospital Anticipates Being First Government Facility in Its State to Offer Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 26, 2015 - The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai will begin offering deep brain stimulation when new equipment is procured in five months, with the services being covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. The government recently supplied the hospital a stereotactic capability, which has already allowed neurosurgeons there to perform brain-tumor biopsies more easily. (New India Express)

Patients in France Begin to Receive Retinal Prosthesis Implants

Feb. 25, 2015 - Second Sight Medical said the first implants of its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System have taken place in France. Up to 35 patients with retinitis pigmentosa will receive the implants through the government reimbursement program Forfait Innovation. (Mass Device)

Neuromodulation Supplier Reports Increased Earnings

Feb. 25, 2015 - Greatbatch Inc. reported adjusted earnings per share of 65 cents in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 18.2% from one year ago. Revenues from QiG Group, which includes sales from the recently acquired implantable-pulse-generator-maker CCC Medical Devices, rose to $5.5 million from $0.9 million the previous year. (Nasdaq)

Study Confirms Effectiveness of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Feb. 24, 2015 - In a study at the Department of Urology, China Rehabilitation Research Center in  Beijing, 100 patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity secondary to spinal cord injury underwent a four-week randomized controlled trial that compared percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with medical treatment with solifenacin succinate. Both treatment groups improved, with no significant difference between them. The author concludes that PTNS is effective, noninvasive, and easily managed by patients. (Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction)

Insurer Adds Coverage of Overactive Bladder Treatment

Feb. 24, 2015 - Uroplasty, Inc. announced its percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation therapy for overactive bladder is now covered by Cigna, which wrote a positive coverage policy that applies to some 14 million people and became effective Feb. 15, 2015. (CNN Money)

Researchers Identify Emotion-Sensing Neurons in Deep Brain Stimulation Target

Feb. 23, 2015 - Researchers at Prague's Charles University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences direct evidence of the emotional role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) were shown visual images considered pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Populations of neurons that were spatially and functionally separate responded either to the emotional valence (positive or negative) or the intensity of the emotional effect. A radio report said 17% of the STN neurons were involved in the response, and that more selective stimulation might improve DBS therapy. (Prague Daily Monitor)

Optogenetics Researcher to Receive $100,000 Prize

February 2015 - The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health selected Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD., for the 2015 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, to recognize his outstanding achievement, as a scientist under age 52, in the development of optogenetics and the brain-imaging tool CLARITY. The award, which began three years ago, will be presented in May in Washington, D.C. and includes a $100,000 honorarium. (Foundation for the National Institutes of Health)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Device Receives FDA Clearance

Feb. 24, 2015 - Bioness, Inc. announced FDA clearance of its minimally invasive neuromodulation device for peripheral nerve pain, StimRouter®, which consists of an implanted lead, external pulse transmitter and conductive electrode, and is controlled by a small hand-held wireless control unit. Electrical signals travel from the pulse generator to the electrode and down the lead to the origin of pain. (Business Wire)

Obesity Device Startup Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings

Feb. 23, 2015 - An earnings report for EnteroMedics, Inc., whose vagus nerve stimulation therapy for certain types of obesity received FDA approval in January, shows that as the company completed U.S. regulatory approval and geared up for commercialization, its losses totaled nearly $6.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The loss of $0.09 per basic and diluted share was a slight improvement losses in the same quarter a year ago of $0.11 per basic/diluted share. For the year, EnteroMedics lost $26.1 million, and had $11.6 million on hand. (Mass Device)

Poster Covers Infection-Control Practices for Spinal Cord Stimulation

February 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member David Provenzano, MD presented results of a survey of infection-control practices for spinal cord stimulation procedures at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine's 13th annual pain medicine meeting in San Francisco in November. A summary of the e-poster now appears in Anesthesiology News. INS was among the societies where the survey had been circulated. (Anesthesiology News)

Company Developing Closed-Loop Spinal Cord Stimulation Announces $10 Million Investment

Feb. 23, 2015 - Saluda Medical announced it received $10 million in Series B financing in a funding round led by new investor Biosciences Managers, in which existing investors also participated. The Australian-based company plans to use the funds to support clinical trials and commercialization plans for its Evoke™ closed-loop spinal cord stimulation system that is intended to treat chronic pain of the trunk and limbs, automatically adjusting stimulation levels for optimal pain relief. (Send2Press Newswire)

Company Acquires Developer of Overactive Bladder Treatment

Feb. 23, 2015 - Medtronic plc has acquired Advanced Uro-Solutions, a Tennessee-based developer of a percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation system, which consists of a small external stimulator and a single, reusable lead to provide temporary stimulation to the tibial nerve, NURO(TM). The device has FDA clearance for patients with overactive bladder and associated symptoms, and Medtronic plans U.S. commercialization within the next 12 months. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Article Presents Bioelectric Medicine

Feb. 17, 2015 - A column discusses the prospects of vagus nerve stimulation to treat inflammatory disease; in a related article, targets in the spleen, liver, and pelvic organs are presented as potential future applications of "bioelectric medicine". (Scientific American)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation More Effective Over Time in Refractory Epilepsy

Feb. 20, 2015 - Five-year results of the SANTE (stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in epilepsy) clinical trial showed an increase in efficacy over time of deep brain stimulation to treat adults with refractory epilepsy characterized by partial-onset seizures, according to a paper in Neurology. International Neuromodulation Society members Douglas Labar, MD, Jaimie Henderson, MD, and Ashwini Sharan, MD, were among the co-authors of the multi-center clinical trial report. SANTE (stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in epilepsy) showed an increase in efficacy over time. The median rate of seizure reduction was 69%, compared to 41% at 12 months. Patients who seizures reduced in frequency by more than half, was 68% at 5 years, up from 43%. The rate of serious, but reversible, adverse events was 34% with infection at the implant site, at 10%, being the most common. The paper concluded that longterm followup indicated this intervention showed sustained efficacy and safety in a treatment-resistant population. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Montreal Clinical Trial Examines Non-Invasive Neurostimulation in Multiple Sclerosis

Feb. 19, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies has enrolled the first three subjects in its multiple sclerosis feasibility study of a portable neurostimulation device, PoNS™, to reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms by stimulating the cranial nerves found in the tongue. In the double-blind, sham-controlled study, a total of 14 subjects will receive stimulation combined with physical therapy to improve balance and gait for 14 weeks at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and Concordia University’s PERFORM Center. (Business Wire)

Neuromodulation to Be Subject of Pain Meeting Preconference in March

February 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD, Tim Lamer, MD, Robert Levy, MD, PhD, and Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD, will present a preconference on neuromodulation prior to the American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting on March 18 in National Harbor, MD. The program will cover future targets and waveforms, clinician views of the best-practice recommendations, and discrepancies between current practices and the consensus recommendations. (American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Company Announces Patent for Neurostimulator-Lead Technology

Feb. 17, 2015 - AdvaStim, Inc. announced it received a U.S. patient for an integrated switching circuit and pulse generator for its neurostimulator lead. The company's technology is intended to provide compact multi-channel switching and electrode programming. (Business Wire)

Show Features Journalist Trying Out Advanced Prosthetic Arm

Feb. 12, 2015 - Science correspondent Miles O'Brien, whose left arm was amputated after an injury last year, tried out a modular prosthetic limb that uses an array of electrodes to sense muscle firing in the stump and move the artificial limb. The limb is under development at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory with funding from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency. (PBS News Hour)

Article Describes Research Into Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Cluster Headache

Feb. 16, 2015 - An article profiles a participant in a 19-patient study who found relief from cluster headaches through use of electroCore's external vagus nerve stimulator (VNS), gammaCore®. The article also touches upon other emerging uses of VNS therapy, such as appetite suppression to control obesity. (Daily Mail)

Researchers Discuss Pediatric Clinical Trial of Auditory Brainstem Implants

Feb. 14, 2015 - Researchers presented a clinical trial of auditory brainstem implants in pediatric patients at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the safety-and-feasibility study led by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California has enrolled five of 10 patients aged 2 - 5 years old who are not able to benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants. After the device is implanted the children receive intensive speech-and-language therapy to learn to use and decipher speech. (domain-b.com)

Article Focuses on Thought-Leadership in Neuromodulation

Feb. 9, 2015 - NeuroNews published online an interview with four members of the International Neuromodulation Society board who were selected to speak as thought-leaders on neuromodulation "research priorities, challenges and potential areas for growth": Drs. Timothy Deer, Ali Rezai, Marc Russo, and Konstantin Slavin, (NeuroNews)

First Implants Announced in Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure

Feb. 11, 2015 - Milan-based Sorin Group announced the first successful vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) implants in the first clinical trial under its New Ventures organization that will explore a number of potential VNS therapies. The clinical trial of VNS in heart failure, Vanguard (Vagal Nerve Stimulation Safeguarding Heart Failure Patients), uses the he Equilia(TM) system initially developed by the Israeli startup Enopace Biomedical. (Business Wire)

Hospital in Pakistan Admits Patients for Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 10, 2015 - Lahore General Hospital, which has begun offering deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, announced at least six cases have been admitted to the hospital. A Parkinson's disease patient who was operated on there expressed gratitude for the government bearing the DBS expenses and was quoted as saying the facility is a great blessing for the poor. (The News International)

Analysis Anticipates Growth in Spinal Cord Stimulator Market Penetration

Feb. 10, 2015 - An article in a pain publication says the publication plans to cover spinal cord stimulation (SCS) more and quotes a recent market research study that says less than 10% of the people who might benefit from SCS for chronic pain use it. The report mentions Nevro Corp. as the new player in the market; its Senza SCS system received an "approvable" letter from the FDA. Meanwhile, the market research study by iData Research says Boston Scientific has grown market share and is a leading competitor in SCS for back pain and failed back surgery syndrome, while Medtronic still has the largest client base in SCS, and all three major players, including St. Jude Medical, have run public awareness campaigns. (National Pain Report)

Business Profile Features Borough's Neuromodulation Center

Feb. 8, 2015 - A business feature profiles the Greenville Neuromodulation Center, which opened 10 years ago in Greenville, a borough of about 5,000 people, 80 miles from Pittsburgh and Cleveland, which is home to Thiel College. Eighteen months ago the center added a neurologist experienced in deep brain stimulation. (Sharon Herald)

Company Settles False Claims Allegation

Feb. 7, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Medtronic, Inc. agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve allegations made by a former company sales representative, that the company caused some physicians to submit false reimbursement claims to federal health programs using a code for peripheral nerve stimulation when an investigational subcutaneous nerve field stimulation implant was performed. The settlement states that the "claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability." (Sputnik News)

Investigators Say Pilot Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation Showed Promise in Heart Failure Patients

Feb. 6, 2015 - A pilot study of spinal cord stimulation in 17 heart-failure patients from Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan showed that 15 improved their composite score and 11 had improved efficacy parameters after six months, according to the Hong Kong-based investigators. (The Standard)

Spinal Cord Stimulation System Receives Expanded Labeling for MRI Scans

Feb. 4, 2015 -  Nevro Corp. announced its Senza® spinal cord stimulation system has received approval for expanded labeling in Europe and Australia. The expanded labeling now permits scans of the head and extremities with both 1.5 and 3 Tesla MRI machines under specified conditions for existing and future patients. (Market Watch)

Company Presents Vagus Nerve Stimulation Results in Stroke Patients and Plans U.S. Clinical Trial

Feb. 4, 2015 - Microtransponder, Inc. plans a 20-person clinical trial in the U.S. of its Vivistim® System for stroke patients who are undergoing rehabilitation to improve upper limb mobility. On Feb. 12, its findings in a 20-person clinical trial in the United Kingdom will be presented at the International Stroke Conference in Nashville. The U.S. trial will take place in Dallas, Houston, and Minneapolis, and enrollment information is available at http://www.vnsstroketrial.com. (PR Web)

Interim Results Show Long-term Benefits of Closed-Loop Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

Feb. 3, 2015 - NeuroPace, Inc. published interim results of its long-term study of its responsive neurostimulation system in adults with medication-resistant epilepsy. The data from 230 adults show that after three years, the median seizure frequency reduced by 60%, and after six years, by 66%. (Business Wire)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reviewed in Neurology Journal

Jan. 29, 2015 - A review in the European Journal of Neurology compares invasive and non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), saying the non-invasive option "improves the safety and tolerability of VNS making it more accessible and facilitating further investigations across a wide range of uses when compared with surgically implanted VNS." (News-Medical.net)

Company Plans a U.S. Clinical Trial of Its Neurostimulation Device to Treat Chronic Lower Back Pain

Jan. 26, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc has applied for an FDA Investigational Device Exemption to begin a clinical trial of its ReActiv8® implantable neurostimulation device to treat people with disabling chronic low back pain for whom conventional therapy has not been successful and for whom surgery is not indicated. (Mainstay Medical)

Company Announces FDA Allows Gastroparesis Device Therapy

Jan. 23, 2015 - Medtronic announced a Humanitarian Device Exemption for its Enterra II neurostimulation implant for treating gastroparesis. (Mass Device)

Neuromodulation Device in Clinical Trials Targets Ophthalmologic Issue of Dry Eye

Jan. 23, 2015 - A former biomedical engineer with Boston Scientific Corporation has created a small implanted device to stimulate nerves in the lacrimal gland to treat dry eye. After four years of work, the device is now a product-candidate undergoing clinical trials through the new company Occuleve. (Stanford Medicine)

Price Index Tracks Hospital Costs for Spinal Cord Stimulators

Jan. 23, 2015 - According to the Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index, the average cost of spinal cord stimulators is now $16,957, up 8% from this time last year. The article mentions that advanced versions released in 2013 by Boston Scientific Corp. and Medtronic cost on average $19,000 while older models cost hospitals on average $13,000, although more hospitals are choosing to buy the newer devices. (Modern Healthcare)

Company Plans to Release Cochlear Implant on U.S. Market That Permits 3.0 Tesla Imaging

Jan. 23, 2015 - MED-EL USA says it will launch its Synchrony cochlear implant in the U.S. following FDA approval for this model, which the company says is the only U.S.-approved one that can be used with 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging devices without surgical removal of the internal magnet. (FDA News)

Company Announces FDA "Approvability" Letter for New Spinal Cord Stimulator

Jan. 22, 2015 - Nevro Corp. announced the FDA has written to say that, subject to check-off on a number of inspection, audit, labeling, and similar compliance issues, its Senza spinal cord stimulation system is approvable under the premarket approval application, based on the application's supporting data. (PR Newswire)

FDA Approves Intrathecal Device With Safety Valve to Facilitate MRI Procedures

Jan. 19, 2015 - Flownix Medical Inc. announced a PMA-Supplement approval from the FDA for is intrathecal Prometra® II system with a flow-activated safety valve that allows an MRI without the need to remove the drug from the reservoir in advance. (PR Newswire)

New Release Announces the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress

Jan. 21, 2015 - The International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress "Neuromodulation: Medicine Evolving Through Technology" will feature traditional and cutting-edge ways to address chronic disease through interfacing with the body’s nervous system, according to a news announcement. The event takes place June 6-11, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Newswise)

Publication Recaps Neuromodulation Appropriateness Guidelines

January 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, is quoted in an article about the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee guidelines that appeared in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Anesthesiology News)

Infection Survey Results Presented

January 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member David Provenzano, MD presented an international survey of infection-control practices during spinal cord stimulation implantation and trials. The survey was filled out by 506 respondents. In the presentation in a poster at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 13th annual pain medicine meeting, the responses showed best practices and also areas for improvement, such as the responsibility for deep infection up to one year after implant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition. (Pain Medicine News)

Researchers Investigate Vestibular Stimulation to Address Balance Problems in Parkinson's Disease

January 20, 2015 - Ten patients with Parkinson's disease have undergone a test period of so called "noisy" electric stimulation of their balance organs (stochastic vestibular galvanic stimulation) to smooth out the effects of dopamine shortage and improve their motor skills and balance, after the concept was demonstrated in preclinical studies. The investigation in Sweden was published in the Journal Brain Stimulation. (Medical Express)

Database Expands to Add Deep Brain Stimulation Citations

January 2015 - With volunteer effort, the collaborative neuromodulation literature database WIKISTIM is expanding to include deep brain stimulation citations as well as spinal cord stimulation citations, according to the January issue of the nonprofit organization's newsletter. (WIKISTIM)

The FDA Approves a Neurostimulation Device for Obesity

Jan. 14, 2015 - EnteroMedics, Inc. received FDA approval for its vagus nerve stimulation therapy, VBLOC®, delivered through the Maestro® System. In an announcement, the FDA called it "the first FDA-approved obesity device since 2007," saying the device is approved for adults with a body mass index of 35 to 45 who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss program and have at least one other obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes. The approval requires a five-year post-market study of safety and effectiveness in 100 patients. (IEEE Spectrum)

Shareholders Pave Way for Merger to Close

Jan. 7, 2015 - Medtronic, Inc. said shareholders who have more than 75% of the stock voted in favor of its merger with Ireland-based Covidien, whose shareholders approved the deal hours earlier. The $43 billion merger should close in two weeks, turning Medtronic into an Irish-based entity, Medtronic PLC. (Mass Device)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to be Studied in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Jan. 5, 2015 - NeuroSigma®, Inc. announced its external trigeminal nerve stimulation will be subject to a Phase II clinical trial of up to 90 children, aged 8-12, who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The double-blind controlled trial will be supported by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and collect data on mechanism of action in alignment with the NIMH's Research Domain Criteria that emphasizes behavioral dimensions and neurobiological measures. The clinical trial will be carried out at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, located at the University of California, Los Angeles. (PR Newswire)

Cross-Continental Merger Faces Shareholder Vote Tomorrow

Jan. 4, 2015 - After a shareholder vote tomorrow on the $48 billion merger of Medtronic, Inc. and Covidien, an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune says, Medtronic would become a new Irish-domiciled, multinational conglomerate called Medtronic PLC. Top executives will remain based in Fridley, MN. The New York Stock Exchange ticker will remain MDT, with the new shares expected to begin trading at the same price as the closing price from the day before. (Star Tribune)

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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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 now indexed in Index Medicus, MEDLINE and Pubmed!

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Last Updated on Monday, March 30, 2015 03:04 PM
 
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