Welcome to the International Neuromodulation Society

2017 INS Congress Announcement

Breaking News

 

Neuromodulation Company is Acquired by Healthcare Giant

April 28, 2016 - Abbott is acquiring St. Jude Medical, Inc. for $25 billion. The deal provides a broader cardiovascular portfolio and also confers "a leading position in the high-growth neuromodulation market," it was reported today. Abbott, which has product lines in cardiovascular, diabetes, and vision care, will assume or refinance St. Jude's net debt of approximately $5.7 billion. (Street Insider)

Researchers Explore Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

April 27, 2016 - A pilot study in the Journal of Alzhemier's Disease explored, in 18 patients with mild, moderate, or severe Alzhemier's disease, a potential alternative brain-stimulation method to restore mental function. The researchers reported that there were temporary improvements in thinking skills and memory after six sessions of exposure to sound pulses at 40-hertz. This gamma wave rhythm has been shown to be a fundamental frequency of a healthy brain. The study builds on 2013 findings showing that vibrations delivered through the index finger stimulated a steady 40-hertz oscillation in the brains, as seen in magnetoencephalography. (The Globe and Mail)

Researcher Explains Obesity Research at Science Festival

April 26, 2016 - A talk at TechfestNW in Oregon presented the rationale for investigating deep brain stimulation of the hypothalamus as a therapeutic intervention in obesity. (Willamette Week)

News Feature Surveys the State of Research Into Minimally Conscious State

April 26, 2016 - An article about minimally conscious states mentions deep brain stimulation that helped to restore more conscious awareness to one patient. (Newsweek)

Authors Recount State of an International Registry of Tourette Syndrome Patients Who Have Received Deep Brain Stimulation

April 25, 2016 - A review details an international registry of patients with Tourette syndrome who received deep brain stimulation. The registry has 157 patients so far, from 10 countries. The review lists 16 studies published since 2007 that have more than four patients who received DBS as an investigational intervention in Tourette syndrome. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Review Summarizes Neuromodulation Studies in Heart Failure

April 25, 2016 - A review examines clinical experience with studies of spinal cord stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure, as well as baroreceptor activation therapy. The review analyzes challenges of determining proper excitation parameters and/or stimulator duty cycles, among other issues. Despite challenges, the authors say much progress has been made in the past five years and that one day clinicians may use both devices and drugs to restore the proper sympathovagal balance in heart failure. They add that enrollment will begin soon in a large pivotal trial, BeAT-HF (Barostim Therapy for Heart Failure; NCT02627196). In it, 480 heart-failure patients will be randomized to receive optimal medical therapy with or without BAT. Results, however, will not be expected for several years. (Basic to Translational Science)

Study: Varying Stimulation Frequency May Aid Pain Control

April 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD and colleagues published results of a pain study involving 19 patients receiving deep brain stimulation. The authors found that low-frequency stimulation modulates thermal and mechanical detection more than high frequency stimulation, as determined through quantitative sensory testing. They postulate that low frequency stimulation may be an option to consider for patients with Parkinson's  disease whose pain is their predominant complaint. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Modeling Indicates that Adjunctive Neurostimulation in Chronic Cluster Headache Would Improve Outcomes and Lower Treatment Costs

April 22, 2016 - Using data from a prospective, randomized, open-label study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, researchers in Germany modeled the cost-effectiveness of this adjunctive treatment for chronic cluster headache compared to the current standard of care alone. Their analysis found that after one year, the combined treatment of vagus nerve stimulation plus standard care was projected to result in greater quality of life and lower healthcare expenditures in a German setting. (The Journal of Headache and Pain)

New Neurostimulation Company Receives up to $45 Million in Debt Financing

April 22, 2016 - Nuvectra's first disclosed financing is a $40 million loan and $5 million line of credit from Oxford Finance and Silicon Valley Bank. The newly spun-out neurostimulation company's overall market capitalization is about $90 million. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Company Acquires Startup's Neurostimulation Patents

April 22, 2016 - Nexeon MedSystems Inc. has acquired neuromodulation patents from NeuroTek Medical, Inc. related to electrode design and occipital nerve stimulation for migraine headache. NeuroTek created a device that delivers transcutaneous occipital nerve electrical stimulation as an investigational treatment for migraine pain. Nexeon anticipates using this intellectual property in its research into similar technology for cardiovascular disease, cognitive enhancement, and sepsis. (Biospace)

CE Mark Approved for Migraine Prevention Labeling

April 22, 2016 - The company eNeura has received an expanded CE mark for its single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation device to prevent migraine, as well as for acute treatment of migraine. (FDA News)

Article Recaps Researchers' Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Research

May 2016 - A news feature describes military-funded research that examines cognitive effects of non-invasive brain stimulation. The Insight project, begun in 2014 with $12.7 million from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, combines physical fitness training, nutrition monitoring, and cognitive training sessions that include transcutaneous direct current stimulation in healthy volunteers. The 42-month project tracks adaptive reasoning in novel situations. (Smithsonian)

Cadaver Study Measured External Stimulation Entering the Skull

April 20, 2016 - Unpublished data presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society earlier this month in New York City showed very little current entered a cadaver's skull which was fitted with transcutaneous electrodes to deliver alternating current, with most applied current shunted away by the skin. Regarding the findings, one researcher commented that transcutaneous brain stimulation in living subjects is not expected to deliver a stimulus strong enough to trigger neuron firing, but instead to make neurons more likely to fire or form new connections. In addition, he noted that living tissue conducts electricity differently. (Science)

Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Patient in Scotland Appreciates Neuromodulation Therapy

April 20, 2016 - A retired teacher who belongs to the Glasgow Young Onset Parkinson’s Group discussed being able to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS). The article says that at a cost of around £70,000 to the National Health Service, only 10 to 12 operations are carried out a year. (Daily Record)

Survey Underscores Importance of Realistic Therapy Expectations in Parkinson's Disease Patients

April 20, 2016 - Survey results presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showed that Parkinson's disease patients whose pre-operation expectations were realistic had improved quality-of-life scores after their deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. The article states that "most patients continued to be satisfied with their decision to undergo DBS, would elect to undergo the procedure again if necessary, and would recommend the procedure to others. In addition, most participants reported that they would have preferred to undergo DBS earlier." (Neurology Advisor)

Research Team Unravels Dual Role of Brain Nucleus Neurons

April 20, 2016 - Preclinical experiments untangled a dual role for cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus by following projections to midbrain structures. The work indicates that to address gait issues in movement disorder, brain stimulation might target the axonal projections in the substantia nigra. For reward disorders, on the other hand, stimulation might target projections in the ventral tegmental area. (Medical Xpress)

FDA Ponders External Brain Stimulation Device Classifications

April 20, 2016 - The FDA is receiving comments on its proposal to reclassify cranial electrotherapy stimulator devices from Class III to Class II for insomnia and/or anxiety, while remaining Class III devices when intended for depression, requiring premarket approval. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System Maker Announces New European Patent

April 20, 2016 - Nexstim Plc announced the European Patent Office has issued a patent for the company's technology that displays where an electric field is generated on the brain during transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Globe Newswire)

Device Maker Cites Neuromodulation Revenue in Quarterly Earnings

April 20, 2016 - Neuromodulation sales at St. Jude Medical grew 8% in the first quarter and contributed to earnings and revenues the company said were above forecast. (Market Watch)

Paper Compares MRI Capabilities in Guiding Targeting of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 20, 2016 - Co-authors from the University of California, San Francisco compared deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead targeting during one year of operation using magnetic resonance imaging from ether a 3-tesla magnet (23 consecutive leads) or a 1.5-tesla magnet (26 consecutive leads). They concluded that accurate DBS lead targeting can be achieved with systems using either 1.5- or 3-tesla magnets, but a 3-tesla magnet provides better visualization of the target structures. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Neurostimulation Spin-off Completes Private Financing Round

April 19, 2016 - A spinoff from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, G-Therapeutics, raised $41 million in a Series A round and debt. The company plans to use the proceeds on clinical trials for an implantable neurostimulation system to restore lower limb function spinal cord injury patients. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Non-invasive Stimulation Startup Raises Capital

April 18, 2016 - Helius Medical Technologies has raised $7.2 million in a Canadian short-form offering and a concurrent private placement in the U.S. The company is completing a clinical trial of non-invasive nerve stimulation for treatment of traumatic brain injury, in preparation for a request for FDA 510(k) clearance and an envisioned U.S. commercial launch. (Med City News)

Study: Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Menstrual Migraine Frequency and Intensity

April 19, 2016 - An open-label study of 56 patients presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting showed that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation reduced the frequency of menstrual migraine by 35%, down to 4.7 episodes per cycle. The migraine episodes were also less intense, resulting in 38% less use of rescue/analgesic medication. Another study at the meeting provided evidence that the non-invasive stimulation is stimulating afferent vagus nerve fibers as expected. (Newswire)

Researchers Analyze Effect of Responsive Neurostimulation in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

April 18, 2016 - An analysis of 106 patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy who participated in a clinical trial of responsive neurostimulation showed a median seizure reduction of 70%, according to data presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting. (Neurology Advisor)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads Receive Pre-Market Approval

April 18, 2016 - Nevro Corp. announced FDA pre-market approval of its spinal cord stimulation leads for use with its high-frequency spinal cord stimulation device, which was FDA-approved in May 2015. (Mass Device)

Review Foresees Potentially Greater Role for Neuromodulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

April 2016 - A review of electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment-resistant depression concludes that as additional knowledge is developed about the best use of the latter two treatments, circumstances may allow TMS and DBS to become mainstream treatments for treatment-resistant depression in the next decade. (Healio Psychiatric Annals)

Researchers Say Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Cognitive Reasoning on a Word-Analogy Test

April 14, 2016 - An article in Cerebral Cortex says research subjects performed better on a novel analogy-finding task after receiving high-definition tDCS-to the frontopolar cortex, an area whose activity was recently shown to predict changes in creative state. (Science Daily)

Journal Features Work of International Neuromodulation Society Members to Reanimate the Limb of a Quadraplegic

April 13, 2016 - The New York Times covered the publication in Nature of research including International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, and Chad Bouton regarding their collaboration to use a motor-cortex implant and an electrode sleeve to reanimate the hand and arm of a man with quadriplegia. Nature published an associated news article. An article by the BBC includes a video of the young man using the device. Ohio State University issued a news release saying the patient is the first of up to five to participate in the clinical study using this "neural bypass" system, NeuroLife. Bouton was recognized for this work in 2015 as one of five winners of the inaugural INS biennial congress abstract competition. (New York Times)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Target Yielded Lasting Symptom Improvement in Parkinson's Patients

April 13, 2016 - Researchers in Mexico City report that unilateral deep brain stimulation to the preleminiscal radiations (Rapri) in patients who have Parkinson's disease in stages II - III induced significant improvement in contralateral symptoms in the extremities over 2 - 4 years of followup. Fourteen of the 19 patients had more than an 80% decrease in symptoms. The other five had symptom decreases of 33 - 79%. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Advocacy Group's Survey in Ireland Shows Limited Access to Deep Brain Stimulation

April 13, 2016 - An article about a survey of 1,000 patients by the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland says that despite Parkinson's disease being on the rise, only 3% of patients have had access to deep brain stimulation. For the treatment, they must travel to England, which is difficult for patients whose condition limits their mobility. (Irish Times)

Man with Autism Recounts His Response as a Non-invasive Brain-Stimulation Subject

April 13, 2016 - In a "Science of Us" column, a writer interviews a man with autism about his experiences as a clinical research subject who had repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in an attempt to mitigate some of his symptoms that interfered with socialization. (New York Magazine)

Company Releases Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurostimulator in the U.S.

April 11, 2016 - St. Jude Medical announced the U.S. launch of its dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurostimulator, following FDA approval in February. Providers are being trained in use of the device to treat people with chronic pain from complex regional pain syndrome I and II for whom traditional neurostimulation is not sufficiently effective. The company announced the first two procedures in a news release and said it has partnered with implanting chronic pain specialists who will conduct more than 100 procedures in 59 centers nationwide in the first month after launch. (MedGadget)

Authors Foresee Applying Laboratory Findings in Optogenetics to Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

April 5, 2016 - Authors of a research review posit that optogenetics in animal models can identify neural circuits thought to contribute to behavioral disease, which then might be treated with deep brain stimulation. These possibly novel stimulation targets could be validated in the animal models. Then, the findings might be translated to humans. (Swiss Medical Weekly)

Small Clinical Trial Starts to Potentially Remedy Vision Loss with Optogenetics

March 18, 2016 - A woman in Texas with loss of vision from retinitis pigmentosa is the first participant in a small clinical trial to receive optogenetic therapy. The treatment introduces genes for light-sensing proteins to ganglion cells in her retina. The intent is to allow these cells to signal the presence of light, and thereby restore some ability to perceive light and shadow. Restoring some vision could help patients better perceive and navigate their environment. (MIT Technology Review)

Clinical Trial of Neurostimulation in Post-Amputation Pain Will Continue Following Interim Analysis of Early Results

April 7, 2016 - Neuros Medical, Inc. announced positive feedback from an analysis of interim results in the company's pivotal clinical study of high-frequency nerve stimulation for post-amputation pain. An independent data monitoring committee analyzed safety and efficacy outcomes for the first 20 patients in the study. Based on that analysis, the clinical trial will continue. The study seeks to ultimately enroll up to 130 patients at 15 institutions. (Business Wire)

Researchers Explore Potential Deep Brain Stimulation Target to Treat Pain

April 4, 2016 - The University of Texas at Arlington issued a news release about preclinical research into neurostimulation for pain that targets the ventral segmental area, a brain structure that plays roles in both the reward process and nociception. The researchers write in Experimental Brain Research that the stimulation may cause an analgesic effect and decrease nociceptive pain via descending modulatory pathways, possibly through connections to the brainstem and cerebral cortex. (Medial Xpress)

Public Body Says National Health Service Can Use Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Headache

April 1, 2016 - In a news release, electroCore LLC reports that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on transcutaneous stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagus nerve for cluster headache and migraine. NICE reviewed and summarized results of five clinical trials that documented the degree of benefit experienced by enrollees. The guidance to physicians encourages them to inform patients that evidence of efficacy is uncertain due to the extent and nature of the data published to date, but adds that further research is encouraged and "current evidence raises no major concerns". Based on the guidance issued by NICE, the intervention can now be used in the National Health Service. (PR Newswire)

Company Evaluates Response of Stroke Patients to Different Forms of Noninvasive Stimulation

March 31, 2016 - Nexstim Plc of Finland plans to file for FDA 510(k) clearance for its navigated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation system in the second quarter of 2016, the company announced. The system is CE marked, and was undergoing a clinical trial at 12 centers in the U.S. to augment post-stroke arm and hand motor rehabilitation. The sham group received a different stimulation than the patients in the active-treatment arm. After 138 patients were treated, the study reached a futility criterion because both the sham and treatment groups showed clinically meaningful gains, with more than two-thirds of patients in each group responding. The company is filing a patent application on the sham stimulation method, based on this unexpected response. The company is halting the clinical trial and will unblind the data for further analysis. (Globe Newswire)

Retinal Prosthesis Maker Gets CE Mark Approval

March 31, 2016 - Retina Implant of Germany received CE Mark approval for its neuroprosthetic device designed to restore some vision in patients who have retinitis pigmentosa. (FDA News)

Pilot Trial of a Wearable Pain-Relief Device Will Gather Data on Sleep Impact Through a Mobile App

March 31, 2016 - NeuroMetrix will offer its FDA-cleared wearable pain-relief device to people with chronic pain who work for Premera Blue Cross in the Pacific Northwest in a pilot trial in which data on device utilization and sleep quality will be gathered by a mobile app. (FDA News)

Researcher Looks at Role of Modulation of Neural States in Motor Tasks

March 31, 2016 - In a finding that may help development of prosthetic devices, a researcher in Sweden reported in Current Biology that the signal patterns of sensory neurons associated with muscle spindles changed during learning of a motor task. Earlier, the researcher noted in an interview that insight into these mechanisms can also aid understanding of pathological states, such as spasticity. (Science Magazine)

Physiologist Finds Some Capacity for the Spinal Cord to Adapt After Injury

March 30, 2016 - A news feature covers four decades of research by a physiologist whose neurostimulation studies have led to an understanding that following some spinal cord injuries, the spinal cord can adapt through neurorehabilitation and generate patterns of activity that have allowed some paralyzed research subjects to recover some limited function. (STAT)

Researchers Investigate Stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Chronic Cluster Headache

March 30, 2016 - British researchers report a prospective study of 21 patients who have medically refractory chronic cluster headache, and were treated with deep brain stimulation to the ventral tegmental area after either failing occipital nerve stimulation or having been denied it through the National Health Service. They report that patients improved significantly in a number of factors. The authors conclude that the study provides Class IV evidence that this intervention in this medically refractory condition decreases headache frequency, severity, and headache load. (Neurology)

Company Launches a Minimally Invasive Neurostimulation Treatment for Overactive Bladder

March 30, 2016 - Medtronic plc has launched a percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation system to treat symptoms of overactive bladder. (Yahoo Finance)

Article Describes Interest in Bioelectronics

March 29, 2016 - An article describes the development of bioelectronics or electroceuticals following an observation in 2002 that an agent under investigation to limit swelling after a stroke was affecting the vagus nerve and the reaction of the immune system. The observation led to the concept that the nerve could be manipulated with electrical impulses instead of a pharmaceutical agent. (Wired.uk via Unknown Country)

Case Report: Pudendal Nerve Stimulation in Pediatric Patent with Caudal Regression

March 28, 2016 - Physicians report on the use of pudendal nerve stimulation in a pediatric patient to treat the patient's refractory bladder/bowel dysfunction. Sacral neuromodulation was not pursued because the patient had a malformed lower spine due to caudal regression. (Urology)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Researcher Seeks Enrollees with Parkinson's Disease to Investigate a Potential Depression Therapy

March 28, 2016 - A researcher at the University of British Columbia is recruiting Parkinson's disease patients who have been diagnosed with depression to see if two weeks of daily sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation at home will help relieve symptoms. News coverage of his work highlights cautions that researchers and industry-watchers have voiced about the home use of brain-stimulation devices that are not regulated as medical devices. (Vancouver Sun)

Deep Brain Stimulation Affects Oscillation of Distinct Networks in Parkinson's Disease

March 26, 2016 - Researchers in the United Kingdom published findings showing that motor improvement in Parkinson’s disease patients receiving subthalamic deep brain stimulation correlates to suppressed synchrony of distinct brain networks. The findings were based on simultaneous magnetoencephalography recordings of the subthalamic nucleus and cortex. The authors conclude that further defining the activity of cortico-subcortical loops, and their connection to underlying symptoms, might aid development of patient-specific treatment that tailors the delivery and pattern of brain stimulation. (Brain)

Neurologists Document Infection Rates Following Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation in a Diagnostic MRI Suite

March 25, 2016 - Physicians at the University of California, San Francisco prospectively collected data over 10 years from 164 procedures in which deep brain stimulation leads were implanted under MRI guidance in a sterile setting that lacked the air-handling qualities of operating rooms. They changed their sterile practice after the first 10 patients. Subsequently, the next four instances of postoperative hardware infection (2.6% of 154 patients) all occurred at the site of the implantable pulse generator, which had been implanted in a conventional operating room during a followup visit. In the whole group of patients, there were six infections for an overall rate of 3.6%. (Brain)

Ukraine Patient Received Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 27, 2016 - A boy with epilepsy received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system in what is described as the first surgery of its type in the Ukraine. (Ukraine Today)

Neuromodulation Center Joins Forces with Brain Science Institute

Summer 2016 - The Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation officially joined the Queensland Brain Institute in January. The neuromodulation-therapy research center was formed in 2012 as a joint initiative of the University of Queensland and St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital. (University of Queensland)

Pilot Study Explores Medication-Free Maintenance Following Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

March 24, 2016 - A prospective pilot study in Brain Stimulation  randomized unmedicated patients with unipolar, nonpsychotic, treatment-resistant major depressive disorder to either observation, or monthly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) sessions following a six-week acute-treatment phase. The patients in the randomized phase were among 49 responders who were followed for up to 12 months, out of 67 total who underwent the initial acute phase of treatment. Compared to the observation group, the ones who had been randomized to receive monthly treatment were able to go 91 days before intensive therapy needed to be introduced, compared to 77 days in the observation-only group, the article states. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Company Starts to Market Peripheral Nerve Stimulator

March 23, 2016 - Stimwave, LLC said it has begun to market its peripheral nerve stimulator that received 510K approval from the FDA earlier this month. Its indications include upper and lower extremity neuropathies and some pain of the mid or lower back, chest well, abdomen, or pelvic region.The device is wirelessly powered by a wearable fabric patch unit. (Business Wire)

Researchers Investigate Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Anorexia

March 23, 2016 - An article in PLOS ONE suggests repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduced symptoms of anorexia. The researchers saw a statistical trend toward reduced symptoms in the active-stimulation group following one session of rTMS to this area of the brain, which is thought to be involved in some of the self-regulation difficulties associated with anorexia. (Medical Xpress)

Study Examines Role of Brain Structure in Propensity to Make Eye Contact

March 23, 2016 - Researchers in France published findings in which subjects whose superior temporal sulcus was inhibited by transcranial magnetic stimulation gazed less at the eyes of movie actors. The authors say this brain structure is different in some autistic people. They want to explore whether stimulating its activity could serve as a therapy to enhance social interactions by increasing eye contact. (Medical Xpress)

Laboratory Brain-Stimulation Study Targets Circuits Involved in Feeding and Metabolism

March 23, 2016 - A feeding-and-metabolism study in Nature, Nature  "Bidirectional electromagnetic control of the hypothalamus regulates feeding and metabolism," investigated glucose homeostasis through stimulating the hypothalamus of mice via radio or magnetic waves. In the laboratory animals, the stimulation affected a ferritin fusion protein tethered to a calcium-ion pore. The authors note that "pancreatic hormones function as an effector mechanism of central nervous system circuits controlling blood glucose and behaviour. The method we employ obviates the need for permanent implants and could potentially be applied to study other neural processes or used to regulate other, even dispersed, cell types." (Rockefeller University)

Cluster Headache Patient in Wales Wishes to Try Neurostimulation

March 23, 2016 - A woman in Wales says she has not gotten approval to receive occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for her cluster headache. Authorities said 2013 guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not support ONS on a routine basis. (The Leader)

Call for Congress Proposals Issued

March 2016 - For its 13th World Congress, "Neuromodulation: Technology Changing Lives" May 21 - June 1, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the International Neuromodulation Society seeks proposals by May 1 regarding basic science, clinical studies and biomedical engineering presentations about neuromodulation for:

    Brain disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, psychiatric disorders, etc.;
    Chronic pain conditions that are underserved;
    Cardiovascular disorders, including heart failure, angina, and peripheral vascular disease;
    Systemic disease;
    Pelvic organ motility disorders; and
    Neurorehabilitation; as well as
    Mechanisms of action of neuromodulation; and
    Non- and less-invasive neurostimulation.
(International Neuromodulation Society)

Mice Studies Indicate Astrocytes Help Mediate Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

March 22, 2016 - Researchers in Japan report in Nature Communications on an apparent mechanism of action of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), seen in mouse studies. Fluorescent tagging indicated tDCS induced large surges of calcium ions in astrocytes, implicating activity of these non-nerve cells in mediation of neuronal responses to the stimulation. They add that there were no obvious changes in the local field potential. They suggest this tDCS mechanism may play a role in lowering symptoms of depression and increasing learning and brain plasticity. In a mouse model of stress-induced depression, tDCS normally reduces depression-like behavior. However, when astrocytic calcium surges were blocked, it did not. The researchers also found tDCS enhanced cortical responses to sensory input, such as light flashes or whisker deflection. (EurekAlert)

Specialists Urge Progress on Deep Brain Stimulation Center in Scotland

March 22, 2016  - Twenty-five specialists have sent an open letter to the health secretary asking her to resolve a funding dispute that has delayed establishment of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) center in Scotland for patients in north and east, who must travel to England for the treatment. (BBC)

News Release Publicizes Study Data About Neurostimulation Reducing the Emotional Aspect of Pain

March 17, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member, Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in a news release about an article he published with colleagues, including fellow member Louis Vera-Portocarrero, PhD, in the current issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. He said, "spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in certain areas of the brain in those with chronic pain." The researchers examined functional MRI scans of 10 patients who had spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for complex regional pain syndrome or chronic leg pain. The findings suggest SCS reduces negative pain processing through decreasing connectivity of the limbic and somatosensory areas. (EurekAlert)

Brain Stimulation Boosted Recall of a Short-Term Memory in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

March 16, 2016 - Optogenetic studies in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease showed that stimulation of the hippocampus can elicit recall of an earlier painful stimulus (a box that delivered an electric shock). Normal mice learned to fear the box, but the mice designed to model Alzheimer's disease did not. When the memory-impaired mice received the brain stimulation, however, they did not move about the box, indicating they associated it with the shock. Cycling the simulation on and off as might occur naturally during repeated memory recall allowed the mice to retain and retrieve the memory, and dissection later indicated that repeated stimulation led to more connections between the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. (Nature)

Study: Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Enhanced Motor Recovery

March 16, 2016 - A controlled study of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during stroke rehabilitation in 24 patients showed that the half who received active stimulation in conjunction with nine days of motor rehabilitation performed better at three months' followup than those who did not. The researchers applied anodal stimulation to the brain hemisphere ipsilateral to the lesion. (Medical Xpress)

Military Research Agency Seeks to Use Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Enhance Cognitive Performance

March 16, 2016 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) announced a new peripheral-nerve-stimulation research program, Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), and will hold a Proposer's Day on April 8, 2016 in Arlington, VA. The research program concerns noninvasive nerve stimulation, and seeks to facilitate learning of cognitive skills "with a goal of reducing the cost and duration of the Defense Department’s extensive training regimen while improving outcomes," the announcement said. Unlike prior research programs, "it will aim not just to restore lost function but to advance capabilities beyond normal levels." (DARPA)

Two-Year Pilot Study Finds Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Lowered Medication Costs

Feb. 26, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, Fenna Phibbs, MD, and Joseph Neimat, MD, have published with co-authors a prospective, randomized, single-blind clinical trial testing the impact of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early Parkinson's disease on reduced medication costs. The 30-patient study found that over two years, patients who were randomized to only receive optimum drug treatment had their medication costs increase 72% from baseline. In the same period, the patients who also received DBS had their medication costs drop 16%. The cost savings amounted to $7,150 over two years. (Journal of Parkinson's Disease)

Neurostimlation Company Spinout Concludes With Stock Exchange Listing

March 14, 2016 - Nuvectra Corporation began trading under the symbol NVTR, completing its spinout from Greatbatch, Inc. Nuvectra's chief executive officer, Scott Drees, said the newly independent neurostimulation medical device company will begin focusing on launching its proprietary spinal cord system in the U.S.. (Yahoo Finance)

Company"s Robotic Surgery System to Assist in Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

March 14, 2016 - Montpellier-based Medtech announced sale of its brain robotic surgery system to the Yale School of Medicine's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, where its uses will include deep brain stimulation surgery. The company said two additional units were sold in China, bringing their total there to nine. (Nasdaq.com)

Report Issued on FDA Workshop Concerning Brain-Computer Interfaces

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, is among authors of a report that has been published following a November 2014 FDA meeting on brain-computer interfaces (BCI)  for patients with paralysis or amputation. The report says FDA plans to develop guidance for premarket submissions for BCI devices. For the purposes of the workshop, BCI devices were defined as neuroprostheses that interface with the central or peripheral nervous system to restore lost motor or sensory capabilities. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Researcher Explores Minimizing Scar-Tissue Formation With Drug-Eluting Implant

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member James FitzGerald, PhD, has published preclinical data regarding suppression of scar tissue formation in peripheral nerve implants. His work involved a microchannel implant on the sciatic nerve of rats made of silicone doped with the inflammation-suppressing steroid dexamethasone. After periods of up to one year, the drug-eluting implants had less surrounding scar tissue compared to controls. Axon growth was initially much stronger in the control versions, but declined as scar tissue formed, whereas axon counts increased in the drug-eluting devices and by one year were significantly higher than controls. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Computational Model Seeks to Help Guide and Explain Deeper Stimulation from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

April 2016 - A research team has modeled the brain's white fiber tracts, that connect cortical and subcortical regions and are theorized to potentially propagate action potentials toward deeper brain regions during transcranial magnetic stimulation. Their model, they say, combines electromagnetism and electrophysiology by computing, next to the induced electric fields in the brain, the spatial distribution of the membrane potentials along the fiber tracts and its dynamics over time. By factoring in the location and orientation of the coil, specific results for a patient or a case can be obtained. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Company Says the FDA Has Approved Its Processor to Wirelessly Stream Audio to Hearing Prosthesis

March 14, 2016 - Cochlear announced the FDA approved the company's sound processor that uses wireless technology for users to stream audio directly to their device. The device is intended for people who have higher degrees of mixed-hearing loss. (FDA News)

Executive Details His Company's Vision of Bioelectronic Medicine

March 12, 2016 - In an interview, GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui said their bioelectronics initiative seeks wirelessly powered peripheral nerve stimulators that can interface with a single nerve and might one day be implanted laproscoptically in a matter of minutes. The initiative was presented at the SXSW Interactive technology conference in Austin, TX at a session called "Inner Space: Bioelectronics and Medicine's Future". (IEEE Spectrum)

Researchers Explore Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Aphasia Therapy

March 10, 2016 - Two speech-language pathologist who teach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have begun gathering feasibility data in a pilot clinical study that involves sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation followed by rehabilitation training for post-stroke aphasia. They have been using facilities at the University of Minnesota, and are seeking more trial participants prior to filing a grant proposal for a larger study. (River Falls Journal)

Paper Raises Issue of Guidance for Neuromodulation Implant Patients During Other Surgeries

Feb. 15, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ramsis Ghaly, MD, is first author on a paper that asks, "Do we need to establish guidelines for patients with neuromodulation implantable devices, including spinal cord stimulators undergoing nonspinal surgeries?" The article gives case reports of two patients who have spinal cord stimulator implants and either underwent a hysterectomy or a hip replacement. The implant manufacturers' representatives were contacted pre-surgery. With provisions made to avoid electrical conductance of the device during cautery, the procedures went without complication. (Surgical Neurology International)

Faculty Collaborate on On-Demand Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 8, 2016 - A profile of Daniela Tuninetti, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), reports that she is collaborating with International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantin Slavin, MD, and UIC engineering professor Daniel Graupe in developing an on-demand system for deep brain stimulation. The system is being designed to identify and prevent onset of tremor. Tuninetti was quoted as saying that advantages include longer battery life and decreased side effects, such as speech issues. She added that the technology is envisioned to have broader applications beyond tremor disorders. (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Article Recounts a Patient's Experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor

March 7, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul Eldridge, a neurosurgeon at Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, was quoted in an article about the benefits a woman experienced after receiving deep brain stimulation for her essential tremor. The article stated, " 'On the whole this is an extremely effective and safe surgical procedure,' says Professor Eldridge. 'You can expect it to provide significant relief to 90 per cent of patients.' " (Daily Mail)

Australian Research Institute Eyes Forming a Neural Bioengineering Center

March 7, 2016 - Queensland Brain Institute plans to open a new Centre for Neural Bioengineering next year to investigate ways to deliver deep brain stimulation without invasive surgery to potentially treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy and anorexia. A new biobank is also planned. One researcher at the institute is carrying out preclinical studies of ultrasound as a potential Alzheimer's disease treatment. (The Courier-Mail)

Case Report: Bipolar Patient Resumed Vagus Nerve Stimulation Following End-of-Battery Life Relapse

March 7, 2016 - A case report about a bipolar patient who remained in stable remission for nine years  after 20 months of vagus nerve stimulation therapy says the patient relapsed after the therapy was not re-initiated for several months after the battery died. Once the device was replaced, the patient regained remission after 17 months. "If the device malfunctions," the authors advise, "urgent surgical replacement is warranted with subsequent rapid titration to previous parameters as tolerated. Several months’ delay may trigger relapse and prove difficult to re-establish remission."  (BMJ Case Reports)

Company Receives FDA Approval for MRI-Safe Stimulation Leads

March 3, 2016 - Medtronic plc announced it has received FDA approval of its spinal cord stimulation leads that are designed for MRI compatibility. The company expects to begin marketing them later this month. (Mass Device)

Researchers Investigate Thalamic Stimulation in Treatment-Refractory Tourette Syndrome

March 3, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandewalle and colleagues report a prospective case series of eight patients with treatment-refractory Tourette syndrome. The patients received high-frequency deep brain stimulation of the ventral anterior and ventrolateral motor part of the thalamus. The researchers found at six and 12 months' followup that the patients' motor tics were improved and their emotional state stabilized, they report in Biological Psychiatry. (Alpha Galileo)

News Weekly Ponders Cognitive-Enhancement Concerns

March 3, 2016 - An editorial and an Outlook article in Nature raise the issues posed by consumer interest in non-invasive brain stimulation for cognitive enhancement. (Nature)

Opinion Piece Forecasts Path for Further Technological Development of Neuromodulation

March 2, 2016 - Cambridge Associates cites cost savings and quality-of-life enhancements offered by neuromodulation therapy, using as an example data presented at the International Neuromodulation Society's 12th World Congress about reductions in healthcare costs among chronic pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation through a Western Canada health authority. The article calls for pursuing better insight into disease mechanisms and integration of technical capabilities to make smaller, more easily accessible devices to fulfill the promise of neuromodulation therapy. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Visual Prosthetics Maker Garners $28.2 Million in Investment

March 2, 2016 - Retina Implant of Reutlingen, Germany said it has raised $28.2 million for further commercialization of its subretinal microchip to treat retinitis pigmentosa. The device received CE Mark in 2013 and won reimbursement in Germany in 2014. (Mass Device)

Article Describes Pursuit of Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulating Bioelectronic Therapies

March 2, 2016 - An article says GlaxoSmithKline has established a network of about 50 research collaborations in bioelectronic medicine, and most research is still at a preclinical stage. The article explains that bioelectronic medicine strives to read and correct signals in the peripheral nervous system to treat diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes. The article adds that the National Institutes of Health has established a $248 million research-investment program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). https://commonfund.nih.gov/sparc/grants (Financial Times)

Neuromodulation Activity Adds to Bottom Line for Company

March 1, 2016 - An analyst report says Greatbatch, Inc.'s cardiac/neuromodulation sales in the fourth quarter grew 44.5%, primarily driven by a neuromodulation product launch. Overall, the company reported adjusted gross earnings of 92 cents a share in the fourth quarter, and an 87.1% increase in sales from the previous year, totaling $317.6 million. (Zacks)

Funding Agency Seeks Applicants to Carry Out Pre-clinical Tests in New Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulation Indications

March 1, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced a funding opportunity as part of the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. Investigators are invited to propose conducting pre-clinical tests of existing neuromodulation devices, from SPARC’s industry partners, in support of new market indications. The pre-clinical data that emerge are expected to generate the necessary safety and efficacy evidence to support an Investigational Device Exemption submission for a later pilot clinical study. A required letter of intent is due April 2, 2016 and the application is due May 2, 2016. (NIH)

Study Suggests Brain-Hemisphere Dominance May Influence Stimulation Effects

Feb. 29, 2016 - An abstract presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggests that noninvasive brain-stimulation treatments for depression should be tailored to the dominant hemisphere of the patient, as reflected in their handedness. In the research, 25 subjects who do not have depression were randomized to receive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to either the right or left side of the head. The subjects had a spectrum of hand preference, with four strongly preferring to use their left hand. After five days of tDCS sessions,  tDCS to the left hemisphere -- the typical approach -- resulted in right-handers feeling better and left-handers feeling worse, while the reverse was true for stimulation of the right hemisphere, according to the article. (Science)

Review Surveys Emerging Neurostimulation Options for Upper-Extremity Neuropathic Pain

Feb. 1, 2016 - Clinical Pain Advisor summarized a review in Hand Clinics that surveys emerging neurostimulation options for treatment of upper-extremity neuropathic pain. The journal article was authored by International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD; David Provenzano, MD; Porter McRoberts, MD; and Timothy Deer, MD. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Longer Delay in Start of Spinal Cord Stimulation is Linked to Higher Healthcare Utilization

Feb. 29, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Shivanand P. Lad MD, PhD; Alexander R. Kent; Peter Staats MD; and Ashwini Sharan MD and colleagues analyzed Medicare claims data from 2008- 2013 over 12 months post-implant in 762 chronic pain patients. Looking at time-to-implant, the authors found that for every one-year delay in receiving a spinal cord stimulator, the odds increased that patients would fall into a high medical expenditures group (33%), receive high opioid prescriptions (39%), and have a higher number of office visits and hospitalizations (44% and 55%). (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Assess White-Matter Modulation During Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 26, 2016 - In 22 Parkinson's disease patients who received bilateral deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an analysis suggests that favorable clinical outcomes are associated with the modulation of white matter tracts directed to the superior frontal gyrus and the thalamus. The researchers say their method using probabilistic tractography with diffusion-tensor data may aid deep brain stimulation programming. (Brain)

Earnings Report Shows Growth in Neuromodulation Revenue

Feb. 24, 2016 - LivaNova, PLC announced 2015 annual financial results and fourth-quarter results. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2015, worldwide sales were $1.2 billion. In neuromodulation, growth was primarily driven by launch of the company's vagus nerve stimulation system in the U.S. in June 2015, and continued sales in international markets. In the fourth quarter, neuromodulation sales were $92 million, an increase of 25.9% on a constant currency basis. The company said it expects growth in neuromodulation in 2016 to be between 9% and 11%. (Globe Newswire)

Article: More Patients Are Being Offered Neuromodulation for Chronic Neuropathic and Ischemic Pain

Feb. 24, 2015 - An article about spinal cord stimulation options says that technological advances, and guidelines of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, have opened the door to more patients, with the therapy being considered earlier than as a last resort, prior to long-acting and strong opioid medications, leading to a better success rate. (Herald and Review)

Conference Presentation Analyzes Effects of Obesity, Smoking on Spinal Cord Stimulation Outcomes

Feb. 21, 2016 - In a retrospective analysis of 64 patients who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) between January 2013 - July 2014, neither obesity nor smoking appeared to affect the efficacy of SCS or the infection rate. However, smokers had a 22.2% rate of lead migration, compared to 2.1% in the non-smokers. The study was presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting. International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, who was not involved in the study, was quoted as commenting that there would need to be more patients in order to see a statistical difference. (Medscape)

Startup Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Company Raises Capital

Feb. 18, 2016 - A startup company spun out of Stanford University has raised $18 million from Google Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Lux Capital, Action Potential Venture Capital, DRX Capital and Lightstone Ventures, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The company, Cala Health, has a 2014 patent application for a peripheral nerve stimulator to control tremor. (MobiHealthNews)

Overview Summarizes Ongoing Clinical Trials of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Migraine

Feb. 22, 2016 - ElectroCore has expanded from studying noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in cluster headache. In Europe, the company is now conducting two randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, sham-controlled studies of noninvasive VNS in migraine. One multi-center study on the prevention of migraines attacks has enrolled more than 200 of up to 400 patients. A second study enrolled the first of up to 250 patients at 10 sites in Italy to investigate noninvasive VNS as an acute treatment to reduce pain in migraine attacks. (Life Scientist)

Healthcare Chain Now Offers Spinal Cord Stimulation Services in Qatar

Feb. 21, 2016 - A network of 12 pain management clinics in Qatar began offering spinal cord stimulation therapy in August 2015. (The Peninsula)

Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation is Approved in the U.S. for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Therapy

Feb. 17, 2016 - St. Jude Medical received FDA premarket approval for its dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation system. The device is designed to treat chronic intractable lower-limb pain in adults who have complex regional pain syndrome. (Modern Healthcare)

Company Receives Broadened FDA Approval for Use of Its Deep Brain Stimulation System in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 17, 2016 - Medtronic plc received a broader FDA approval for its deep brain stimulation (DBS) system. The system is now approved for patients who have had Parkinson's disease for at least four years, with recent onset of motor symptoms, or who have had longstanding motor complications not adequately controlled by medication. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Pharmaceutical Company Partners with Neurostimulation Device Maker

Feb. 16, 2016 - GlaxoSmithKline has partnered with Nuviant Medical to use its neurostimulation implant systems as a research platform for clinical applications of bioelectronics medicine. Bioelectronics, the company specified, seeks to develop miniaturized implants to interface with the peripheral nervous system to modulate organ function in order to treat chronic disease. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Researcher: Electrical Brain Stimulation May Aid Therapy for Progressive Aphasia

Feb. 14, 2016 - A researcher is investigating transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjunct to speech therapy in primary progressive aphasia. She presented preliminary results involving 19 patients at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Star Tribune)

Article Weighs Cost-Effectiveness of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Feb. 12, 2016 - In a "Wise Buy" column, a writer looks at costs of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treatment-resistant depression compared to electroconvulsive therapy. The article says an analysis showed that the cost of achieving one quality adjusted life year was $36,000, and anything less than $50,000 is considered cost-effective. (MedPage Today)

Authors Look at the Future of Flexible Electrodes in Neuroscience Applications

Feb. 11, 2016 - A team of co-authors reviews advances in implantable electrodes based upon soft materials, and their applications in neuroprosthetics, neural signal recording, and neuromodulation. (Lab on a Chip)

Company Raises Financing for "Neuropriming" Development

Feb. 10, 2016 - Halo Neuroscience announced it has raised $9 million in Series A financing and is pursuing both stroke rehabilitation and athletics with its headphones that are designed to provide brain stimulation to the motor cortex, an effect the company calls neuropriming. (Med City News)

Researchers Demonstrate an Intravenous Brain-Machine Interface in Sheep, Say the Minimally Invasive Interface May Help Guide an Exoskeleton for Spine-Injury Patients

Feb. 10, 2016 - Australian researchers have published a preclinical demonstration of a minimally invasive, paperclip-sized brain machine interface comprised of an electrode-bearing stent, introduced into a vein to lie alongside the motor cortex. Their paper in Nature Biotechnology describes their experience taking neural recordings for up to six months in sheep. The project, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, may allow spine-injured patients to control an exoskeleton, or aid mobility of stroke patients. A clinical trial in three patients is planned next year in Victoria, Australia. Goals of the project are described by one team member in a column in The Conversation. (IEEE Spectrum)

External Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Be Tested for Controlling Obesity

Feb. 9, 2016 - An external vagus nerve stimulation system, the NeuroCoach II Stim, will be subject to a placebo-controlled clinical trial for 50 patients in France to potentially help control obesity. The device clips on the ear, and its potential to address obesity was discovered by chance after it was noticed that patients using the stimulation to treat other conditions lost weight. (Daily Mail)

Article Describes Locally Available Pain Interventions

Feb. 8, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Jason Pope, MD, was featured along with INS member Michael Yang, MD, in a newspaper article about the latest pain interventions being available in the Santa Rosa, CA area -- including high frequency spinal cord stimulation. (Press Democrat)

Company Eyes Commercialization of Implantable Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain.

Feb. 8, 2016 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced 2015 preliminary results and a business update. The Dublin-based company said it awaits CE marking and is preparing to commercialize its implantable device for chronic low back pain in Europe, with the first target market located in Germany. Meanwhile, the company received two more U.S. patents, bringing the total number to seven, and is currently preparing for an international prospective randomized sham-controlled blinded clinical trial, to include sites in the U.S. (Business Wire)

Newspaper Profiles a Local Epilepsy Patient Who Received a Neurostimulation Implant

Feb. 6, 2016 - An article about a young man who received a responsive neurostimulation system to treat medication-resistant epilepsy quotes International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, and Konstantin Slavin, MD about the field of electrical brain stimulation therapy. (Journal Sentinel)

Researchers Say Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation May Hold Promise for Helping Treat Depression

Feb. 4, 2016 - Researchers from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical school investigated the effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in 34 patients with depression, who received either sham or active stimulation for a month. The results, in Biological Psychiatry, showed the active-stimulation group experienced symptom improvement. Neuroimaging before and after indicated increased functional connectivity between the default mode network and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, a network that is known to be altered in depression. The authors conclude that the non-invasive, safe and low cost method shows potential promise as a possible treatment option, if efficacy is sustained. (EurekAlert)

Review Considers Current Development of Spinal Cord Neuromodulation for Heart Disease

Feb. 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jeffrey Ardell, PhD has published a review about heart failure and mechanisms of spinal cord neuromodulation for heart disease. The article says safety concerns for bioelectrical treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction have been addressed, but optimization of spinal cord stimulation delivery remains a concern. (Nature Reviews Cardiology)

Companies Announce Plans for Directional Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 1, 2016 - Aleva Neurotherapeutics announced a strategic development, supply, and manufacturing relationship with the Greatbatch, Inc. subsidiary Greatbatch Ltd. Aleva will license a neurostimulation platform for the field of use of deep brain stimulation for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Aleva will incorporate its own proprietary electrode technology for directional deep brain stimulation (DBS) along with the in-licensed technology for a 24-channel neurostimulator and related programmers. Aleva is raising a Series C round of financing, led by Greatbatch, for completing a chronic study in 60 Parkinson's disease patients, and to support seeking CE Mark approval for the directional DBS system. Additionally, Greatbatch said it expects to be renamed Integer Holdings Corporation later this year, following its October 2015 acquisition of Lake Region Medical. (GlobeNewswire)

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.

See patient information


Now indexed in MEDLINE!

journal cover

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!

Click here to submit a manuscript.


Unique Member Benefit

brain concept

Members may log in and visit the members-only section’s Global Discussion Forum to participate;
watch for updates on our
Events page
and in our journal


Site Index

Bookmark and Share



Members may now join:
Google Groups

 
back to top
Last Updated on Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:38 AM
 
powered by MemberClicks