According Device Makers Vie in Pain Treatment Market, a recent Reuters article, “Medical device makers are battling in the fast-growing market for implantable systems that manage debilitating pain in patients for whom medical alternatives, such as drugs or spine surgery, have failed.” These implantable systems include nerve stimulators for headache treatment.
The short article provides a good snapshot of the market and discusses the three major players, Medtronic, Boston Scientific (which is produced under the company name of Advanced Bionics), and Advanced Neuromodulation Systems. If you’re considering nerve stimulation and are curious about the devices and companies that make them, it’s good background information.
See Nerve Stimulation Devices: Leads & Batteries for a little about my experience with a Medtronic occipital nerve stimulator. I’ll post more information on the devices and companies mentioned in the article as soon as I round it up.
All the headache forums have been abuzz this week with questions about nerve stimulation to treat migraines. I’ve had an occipital nerve stimulator since December 2003, so I can share a patient’s perspective. I haven’t blogged about it much yet because I don’t know where to start. It’s time to get over that.
For those who aren’t familiar with this experimental treatment, the stimulator sends electrical impulses to the occipital nerve, which interrupt the pain signals sent along the nerve. For good basic information about the device and procedure, see the Neurotech Reports article on nerve stimulation. This article expands Medtronic’s press release that was issued in September 2004, when an occipital nerve stimulator study began.
I plan to break what I have to share into bite-size pieces so it’s easier to write about. Expect a lot of posts about it in the next few weeks. If you have any specific questions, e-mail me (kerrie at thedailyheadache dot com), and I’ll be sure to answer them.