Navigation Links
Bladder Pacemaker For Incontinence

Biomedical engineering researchers from Duke University have come out with a device which is likely// to be of significance in patients who suffer from bladder control issues.

They have named this as ‘smart bladder pacemaker’ that breaks into the urinary circuit in spinal cord which is responsible for the contraction and release of muscles which is essential to sustain continence. This device is extremely useful in patients suffering from spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders.

Warren Grill of Duke's Pratt School of Engineering and his colleagues have shown in cats that electrical stimulation can engage the spinal circuitry to effectively empty the bladder, while delivery of lower frequency pulses to the same nerve can significantly increase bladder capacity and improve continence.

In fact, manipulating the nervous system provides a more flexible way of influencing urinary function than would direct bladder stimulation, Grill said.

"Stimulating the bladder directly can cause it only to contract, not to keep it from contracting," Grill said. "We stimulate the sensory inputs in the spinal cord to orchestrate either the inhibition or activation of urination.

"This illustrates an important principle: we can use the 'smarts' of the nervous system to orchestrate control of complex functions," he said.

A similar approach might also have potential for stimulating the spinal reflexes that control locomotion, Grill added. Other investigators are testing such a system for use in physical therapy for people suffering from some form of paralysis, to help them learn to walk again.

Grill presented the team's findings on Friday, Feb. 16, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco. His presentation was part of a symposium organized through the National Academies' Keck Futures Initiative. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Hea lth and the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Research Foundation.

Individuals with severe spinal cord injuries generally cannot empty their bladders voluntarily, Grill said. Spinal cord injuries also can cause the bladder to become involuntarily overactive, contracting at low volume for ineffective release of urine.

Ineffective emptying of the bladder can lead to complications, including damage to the bladder and frequent urinary tract infections, he said. Therefore, most people with spinal cord injuries are fitted with catheters that carry away urine.

The Duke researchers recently showed in cats that intermittent stimulation of the pelvic nerve that controls the urinary spinal circuitry emptied 65 percent of the bladder volume. The electrical pulses were delivered at a high frequency, mimicking the normal rate of sensory nerve impulses.

"We knew that the sensory fibers that excite the bladder normally fire at a rate of 30 to 40 impulses per second," Grill said. "We used the same rate to trick the circuit to turn on."

In another study, the researchers investigated the use of lower frequency electrical pulses for blocking unwanted bladder contractions. Earlier studies found that continuous low-frequency pulses of the pelvic nerve can suppress involuntary bladder contractions to maintain continence and increase bladder volume by 60 to 110 percent.

However, Grill suspected that the method could be made even more successful by making it more selective, delivering inhibitory pulses only in response to bladder contractions rather than constantly.

"The sensory system is designed to ignore signals if they are delivered constantly," Grill said. An everyday example of this "habituation" effect is the way people become accustomed to the pressure of a watch against the skin and no longer feel it, he said.

Indeed, the researchers found that inhibiting the urinary circuit only when contractio ns were detected increased bladder capacity by another 15 percent over continuous stimulation.

The researchers monitored bladder contractions indirectly by recording electrical nerve impulses, a sensing method that could be readily incorporated into a device resembling a pacemaker, Grill said.

"We relied on electrical recording of nerve activity that is coincident with bladder contraction to deliver a conditional inhibitory stimulus," Grill said. "It's a fully bioelectric and practical way to improve urinary continence."

The team now is working with Duke University Medical Center researchers on a clinical feasibility study to examine the urinary reflexes of human patients with spinal cord injuries.-Duke University


Related medicine news :

1. Chemotherapy Effective for Bladder Cancer
2. Dogs Can Sense Bladder Cancer
3. More Causes of Bladder Cancer Identified
4. More Dependable Screening Test For Bladder Cancer
5. Marijuana-Derived Drug Promises Hope In Treating Bladder Infection
6. Shy Bladder Syndrome: A Social Phobia Or Functional Disorder Of Micturition?
7. Coaching In Labor Could Increase Bladder Problems
8. Measuring Urinary Protein Helps In Detecting Recurrent Bladder Cancer
9. Brain holds the key to Overactive Bladder
10. Smoking Marijuana Increases The Risk Of Bladder Cancer
11. Bladder Surgery Patients Warned About Risk Of Bladder Cancer
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/29/2015)... ... ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style will be available at Target via ... “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub Set 50% Off” for a limited ... price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to outfit every healer around the world ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for ... of two inventors, one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, ... patent-pending PROTECTOR to save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again ... choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle of view, ... masking effects, users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November 6th ... the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets may ... part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets have certainly ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of ... ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. ... Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of a Biologics License Application (BLA) with ... Administration (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to ... the first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA ... biosimilar pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: