The field of neuromodulation is undergoing a renaissance of technology advancement with potential for profoundly enhancing the care of chronic illnesses.
FREMONT, CA: The emerging area of neuromodulation represents an exciting and highly promising set of developments in the management of neurological illness. The evolution of neuromodulation technology brings with it the promise of addressing the demands of both patients and clinicians, as current technology enhances and clinical applications widen. Now is time to educate clinicians and patients on the very viable tool in the pain therapy arsenal – neuromodulation. Read on to know more.
Neuromodulation works either by actively stimulating nerves to produce a natural biological response or by targeting the area with small doses of the pharmaceutical agent. Neurostimulation devices apply electrodes to the brain, the spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. These leads connect via an extension cable to a pulse generator and power source, which creates the necessary electrical stimulation. A low-voltage current passes from the generator to the nerve and can either inhibit pain signals or stimulate neural impulses. Technological advancements in microelectronics, feedback-powered system design, biomimetic stimulation patterns, and the interplay between genomics and device-based therapies are transforming how neuromodulation is being conceived.
The most important benefit to neuromodulation therapy is that it betters peoples' lives. The treatment offers an alternative to long-term drug therapy for the symptomatic relief of chronic pain conditions, which is especially important when existing drugs are ineffective or become problematic for long-term use due to tolerance development, addiction, adverse side-effects or toxicity. Other benefits include fast recovery rates, non-invasive treatment, higher success rates, and faster patient turnaround time.
The significant need has, of course, attracted the considerable commercial interest of neuromodulation devices. Some therapeutic areas in the field now represent lucrative markets for these device manufacturers. This is an important aspect of the social context of neuromodulation. As technology and approaches to neuromodulation innovate, it is clear that systems need to be more flexible in their potential to produce multiple programmable outputs to not tailor treatment to specific diagnoses and conditions, and individual patients.