NEUROMODULATION

A new era in the treatment of mental disorders

We are verifying by increasingly numerous studies related to basic research and artificial intelligence, that the brain is the anatomical command center where all the high-level functions of the human organism take place, such as thinking, deducing, creating, feeling, loving and regulating emotions.

In the field of neurosciences, new technologies are being included. Such technologies are gaining strength and dynamisms in the West world influencing the rest of the world too.

Neurosciences are the emerging paths by which they walk, explore and forge themselves with new tools, advances of research and global technological development.

Neural dysfunctions associated with trauma and diseases have ceased to belong to a single specialty. Back in time at faculties, professors of medicine or surgery maintained absolute power over fields as diverse as lung or abdominal diseases and general surgery. To the contrary, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences, associated with chemistry and engineering, have made possible the development of new powerful neurobiological approaches, which in turn allow therapeutic applications to serious clinical situations.

Each new branch soon produces its own ramifications, and Neuromodulation looks like a fast-growing tree that has taken an exponential nature card so far this century.

We understand by Neuromodulation, the modification or harmonization of nerve activity by providing pharmaceutical, electrical, or mechanical agents as well as modifying a target area. It has technological tools that act specifically on neural structures.

Neuromodulation devices are per se a change of life. This dimension is as expected as efficient from which more areas of our body might get benefit as well as several diseases or symptoms such as Parkinson´s or Alzheimer´s, strokes, epilepsy, or march disorders. Neuromodulation can also act on incontinence, angina pectoris and peripheral vascular disease.

On the other hand, Neuromodulation devices can provoke a response where it did not exist, as in the case of a cochlear implant restoring the hearing of a deaf patient.

As a therapeutic route, a key advantage is to have a reversible treatment option, that is, it can be deactivated, and once its effect is interrupted, it stops.

With the expansion and rise of this word neuromodulation, in force since the 80s, one might think that it is limited exclusively to depression or chronic pain, the most common indications. However, there are a lot of applications as we have explained. Today we can say that for each existing neuromodulation treatment, there are many more on the horizon, not far away, they are here. A new technology called BrainGate (Cyberkinetics, Foxborough, MA) is used to analyze the signals of a brain by activating the movements of a cursor, allowing people affected by severe motor damage, an “alternate pathway” that controls a computer only by thinking.

With this therapeutic arsenal, the significant improvements in the course of biotechnology, it is not surprising that it is causing a great outburst in the industry.

Neuromodulation therapy should be considered for selected patients through a multidisciplinary evaluation, either as a complement to other types of care or as an alternative when symptoms do not respond adequately to more conservative measures, for example, when existing drugs are ineffective or become a problem due to the development o tolerance, addiction, adverse side effects or toxicity.

Neuromodulation devices, despite their technological complexity, when introduced at the beginning of treatments, may be more cost/effective to control certain conditions over time than medical approaches.

Neuromodulation therapies continue to undergo refinement through ongoing research that elucidates its effects and applications.