Navigation Links
Improved method of electrical stimulation could help treat damaged nerves
Date:11/21/2011

BOSTON Functional electrical stimulation (FES) was developed to help return lost function to patients with upper and lower extremity injuries and spinal cord injuries, among other applications. However, the devices, which work by stimulating neuronal activity in nerve-damaged patients, have a potential shortcoming in that the electrical currents needed for the treatment to work can also send errant signals to surrounding nerves, resulting in painful side effects.

Earlier this fall, a plastic surgery research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and an engineering team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), described a new method of nerve stimulation that reduces the device's electrical threshold by 40 percent, compared with traditional FES therapy. Reported in the October 23 Advance On-line issue of the journal Nature Materials, the findings could help researchers develop a safer, more efficient FES therapy with fewer side effects.

"This new device works by manipulating the concentration of charged ions surrounding the nerve," explains co-senior author Samuel J. Lin, MD, a surgeon in BIDMC's Divisions of Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. "This could potentially mean reduced risk to surrounding nerves because less electrical current is required to stimulate the affected nerve." The researchers additionally discovered that they could use the device to block signals in nearby nerve fibers, which could help prevent unwanted muscle contractions.

The research team, led by Lin and MIT Associate Professor Jongyoon Han, PhD, determined that by altering calcium ion concentrations in the fluid surrounding the nerves they could adjust the electrical impulses.

"Nerve fibers fire their signals based on the message they receive from the interaction of ions, or charged particles," explains coauthor Ahmed M.S. Ibrahim, MD, a Research Fellow in BIDMC's Divisions of Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology. "We wanted to achieve the lowest current possible that would still result in positive results." After testing the manipulation of sodium and potassium ions, the researchers determined that consistent results could be achieved by removing positively charged calcium ions from the fluid surrounding the nerves.

The newly designed method not only prevents electrical impulses from traveling along a nerve but also uses significantly less current required by existing FES therapy. "This could be of particular benefit for the treatment of patients with various forms of paralysis," explains Lin. "The nerves that control movements and the sensory nerves that carry pain signals are extremely close together, so existing FES therapy has had limitations."

The researchers conducted their study of this new electrochemical-stimulation method in the nerves of frogs and plan to later test it in mammalian nerves.

"This is an important step towards the design of a device to aid in helping patients suffering from nerve paralysis and chronic neurological conditions," say Lin. "By bringing together biomedical and engineering research teams we have been able to successfully develop this new technique. Going forward, these types of collaborations will be absolutely crucial to creating new clinical treatments and enhancing patient care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. EHJ paper underlines need for improved links between cardiologists and psychiatrists
2. Improved memory efficiency seen after aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia patients
3. ACAAI Annual Meeting abstracts: Improved outcomes for adults with allergies and asthma
4. Improved Allergy Shots Might Be on Horizon
5. New research on improved treatment options and screening strategies for Hepatitis C
6. Thyroid Surgery Linked to Improved Sleep Apnea Symptoms
7. New oncolytic virus shows improved effectiveness in preclinical testing
8. Public reporting hasnt improved transplant centers care
9. Improved method for detecting mutant DNAs
10. Researchers from Boston University receive grant to develop improved virus detection system
11. Toward an improved test for adulterated heparin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... FileHold's document ... organizations. DocuSyst provides a cloud hosted environment for FileHold software that is pay ... various 3rd party applications using the FileHold web services API. DocuSyst also advises ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Joshua Rosenthal, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer ... use newly released government data on populations and physicians to better calculate risk ... the value they create to succeed in new economic models for value based ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 ... ... on Friday in recognition of National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day ... disease and stroke in women. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... With ... and easily add warm color grades to their footage. A LUT is a Lookup ... pixel's color to the corresponding color indicated by the table. By manipulating each pixel, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... VeloReality ... lighter, sleeker next generation LYNX VR Indoor Trainer with multi-rider capability to an ... and manufacturing not only reduce the weight of the unit, they also enhance ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Fetal (Labor & Delivery) and Neonatal Care Equipment Market ... Oximeter, Phototherapy/Jaundice Management Devices, CPAP, Capnograph, & Resuscitator) - ... studies the global market over the forecast period of ... 6.28 Billion in 2015 and is poised to grow ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... France , Germany ... and Israel ). It includes a 10-year epidemiology forecast ... segmented by age and sex in these markets. GD epidemiology report is ... in-depth, high quality, transparent and market-driven, providing expert analysis of disease trends ... Germany , Italy , Spain ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW ), the ... and critical care monitoring, announced today that it has ... Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to repurchase $325 million ... the Company,s previously authorized program to repurchase up to ... --> --> Under the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: