There are many different types of neurotechnologies. We offer some descriptions of some of the broader and more widely used modalities of the technology.
Spinal Cord Stimulation – SCS
According to the International Neuromodulation Society, spinal cord stimulation involves placing a series of electrical contacts in the epidural space in the spine near the region that supplies nerves to the painful area. The procedure is a minimally invasive ambulatory surgical technique. Learn more about this area, including who is a candidate, the expected results or risks, and more, from our partners at Neuromodec. Click here to access this Spinal Cord Stimulation explanation page. Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) application has typically been applied for pain management; however, the technology has expanded the applications to other areas. Learn more from a listing from Dr. Simon Thomson, past president of INS, in his feature titled Spinal Cord Stimulation’s Role in Managing Chronic Disease Symptoms. You may also Find a Specialist in Spinal Cord Stimulation from this search database from Neuromodec.
Deep Brain Stimulation – DBS
Referenced from the International Neuromodulation Society, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) consists of a small device, similar to a pacemaker, that is surgically implanted to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain. This therapy is used to treat a variety of neurological symptoms, including symptoms related to essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and epilepsy. DBS has also been investigated as a therapy in chronic pain, central pain syndrome, severe intractable depression, bipolar disorder, Tourette syndrome, stroke recovery, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, anorexia, and addiction disorders. Here is a further explanation of Deep Brain Stimulation from our partners at Neuromodec. If you are interested in finding a DBS specialist in your area, follow this link to our partners at Neuromodec.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation – VNS
Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a form of stimulation whereby electricity is applied to the vagus nerve to modulate the central nervous system. The Vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve, which runs from the brainstem, through the neck, down to the abdomen. Vagus Nerve Stimulation devices may be implanted or non-invasive devices. It has been available for some time, particularly for the treatment of epilepsy. VNS has also been approved for the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches, tinnitus, stroke rehabilitation, and some cardiovascular disorders. The treatment is also being explored to treat multiple sclerosis, pain, depression, upper extremity rehabilitation, and inflammatory conditions. To learn more about vagus nerve stimulation on the page provided by our partners at Neuromodec. You can also follow this link to Find a Specialist familiar with vagus nerve stimulation.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is typically a clinical application used as non-invasive therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The use of repetitive TMS or rTMS is available through a trained clinician. Typically, the recipient of the treatment will sit in a chair while the clinician places a butterfly coil over the specified area of the head. The coil delivers rapid pulses of magnetic fields to the brain. Visit the International Neuromodulation Society to view further explanations and referenced published research articles.
Our partners at Neuromodec also have an explanation of TMS treatment with diagrams. Visit their site here.
TMS has been approved in select areas of the world for the treatment of depression, migraine headaches, and chronic pain. It is under investigational use as a therapy for PTSD, stroke, OCD, Alzheimer’s disease, and a variety of other brain conditions. Find devices for a specific condition by visiting our Directory of Conditions to see related neurotech applications and our custom database of devices. You can also follow this link to Find a Specialist familiar with transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation – tDCS
Transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS is a non-invasive stimulation application for the brain. The device uses two applied electrodes, one positive (anode) and one negative (cathode). These electrodes are placed on the head to stimulate neurons within the brain. tDCS is available from a variety of sources for direct consumer use, particularly for training for cognitive and motor learning. It is being investigated in areas such as depression, addiction, epilepsy, pain, aphasia, ADHD, and rehabilitation.
Our partners at Neuromodec offer a further explanation of tDCS on their website. You can also follow this link to Find a Specialist familiar with transcranial direct current stimulation.
Transcranial Alternate Current Stimulation – tACS
Transcranial Alternate Current Stimulation or tACS is similar to tDCS as a non-invasive brain stimulation device. tACS is different in that it uses an oscillating current. Devices in this category also stimulate neurons in the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Our partners at Neuromodec offer a detailed explanation of the tACS device.
tACS has many applications. Some devices have been FDA-cleared for the treatment of insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It is also being explored Parkinson’s disease, cognitive enhancement, memory recall, and tinnitus.