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Patent Analysis of

Spinal cord modulation for inhibiting pain via short pulse width waveforms, and associated systems and methods

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10149978

Application Number

US14/534769

Application Date

06 November 2014

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

NEVRO CORP.

Original Assignee (Applicant)

NEVRO CORPORATION

International Classification

A61N1/36,A61N1/05

Cooperative Classification

A61N1/36175,A61N1/36071,A61N1/36171,A61N1/36157,A61N1/0553

Inventor

PARK, SANGSOO WESLEY

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 1 US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 2 US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 3
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Abstract

Short pulse width spinal cord modulation for inhibiting pain with reduced side effects and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In particular embodiments, modulation signal has pulse widths in the range of from about 10 microseconds to about 50 microseconds may be applied to the patient's spinal cord region to address chronic pain without using paresthesia or tingling to mask or cover the patient's sensation of pain. In other embodiments, modulation in accordance with similar parameters can be applied to other spinal or peripheral locations to address other indications.

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Claims

1. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:

an implantable signal generator having a computer-readable medium with instructions to generate and transmit a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 30 microseconds to 35 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 1 to 5 mA; and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator and designed to be implanted in the patient's epidural space to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the duty cycle is 100%.

4. The system of claim 2, wherein the duty cycle is 50-100%.

5. The system of claim 2, wherein the frequency is applied throughout the length of an on period in the duty cycle.

6. The system of claim 2, wherein the frequency is applied during a portion of an on period in the duty cycle.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of about 2.5 mA.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having one or more electrodes.

12. The system of claim 1, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having a bipole arrangement of electrodes.

13. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:

an implantable signal generator programmed to generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 10 microseconds to 50 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 0.1 mA to 3 mA; and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein the duty cycle is 100%.

16. The system of claim 14, wherein the duty cycle is 50-100%.

17. The system of claim 14, wherein the frequency is applied throughout the length of an on period in the duty cycle.

18. The system of claim 14, wherein the frequency is applied during a portion of an on period in the duty cycle.

19. The system of claim 13, wherein the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of 2.5 mA.

20. The system of claim 13, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.

21. The system of claim 13, wherein the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.

22. The system of claim 13, wherein the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.

23. The system of claim 13, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having one or more electrodes.

24. The system of claim 13, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having a bipole arrangement of electrodes.

25. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:

an implantable signal generator programmed to generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 10 microseconds to 50 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 0.5 mA to 7 mA; and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.

26. The system of claim 25, wherein the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.

27. The system of claim 26, wherein the duty cycle is 100%.

28. The system of claim 26, wherein the duty cycle is 50-100%.

29. The system of claim 26, wherein the frequency is applied throughout the length of an on period in the duty cycle.

30. The system of claim 26, wherein the frequency is applied during a portion of an on period in the duty cycle.

31. The system of claim 25, wherein the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of 2.5 mA.

32. The system of claim 25, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.

33. The system of claim 25, wherein the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.

34. The system of claim 25, wherein the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.

35. The system of claim 25, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having one or more electrodes.

36. The system of claim 25, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having a bipole arrangement of electrodes.

37. A method for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, without causing paresthesia in the patient, the method comprising:

programming a computer-readable medium of an implanted signal generator to:

generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 30 microseconds to 35 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 1 to 5 mA; and transmit the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord via a signal delivery device implanted in the patient's epidural space and electrically coupled to the implanted signal generator.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein generating the therapy signal includes generating the therapy signal at a duty cycle.

39. The method of claim 38, wherein the duty cycle is 100%.

40. The method of claim 38, wherein the duty cycle is 50-100%.

41. The method of claim 38, wherein the frequency is applied throughout the length of an on period in the duty cycle.

42. The method of claim 38, wherein the frequency is applied during a portion of an on period in the duty cycle.

43. The method of claim 37, wherein the therapy signal is generated at a current amplitude of about 2.5 mA.

44. The method of claim 37, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.

45. The method of claim 37, wherein the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.

46. The method of claim 37, wherein the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.

47. The method of claim 37, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having one or more electrodes.

48. The method of claim 37, wherein the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having a bipole arrangement of electrodes.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:
    • an implantable signal generator having a computer-readable medium with instructions to generate and transmit a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 30 microseconds to 35 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 1 to 5 mA
    • and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator and designed to be implanted in the patient's epidural space to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.
    • 2. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.
    • 7. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of about 2.5 mA.
    • 8. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.
    • 9. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.
    • 10. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.
    • 11. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
    • 12. The system of claim 1, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
  • 13
    13. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:
    • an implantable signal generator programmed to generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 10 microseconds to 50 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 0.1 mA to 3 mA
    • and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.
    • 14. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.
    • 19. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of 2.5 mA.
    • 20. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.
    • 21. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.
    • 22. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.
    • 23. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
    • 24. The system of claim 13, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
  • 25
    25. A spinal cord stimulation system for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, the system comprising:
    • an implantable signal generator programmed to generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 10 microseconds to 50 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 0.5 mA to 7 mA
    • and a signal delivery device electrically coupled to the implantable signal generator to deliver the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord.
    • 26. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the implantable signal generator generates the therapy signal at a duty cycle.
    • 31. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the therapy signal is delivered at a current amplitude of 2.5 mA.
    • 32. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.
    • 33. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.
    • 34. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.
    • 35. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
    • 36. The system of claim 25, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
  • 37
    37. A method for reducing or eliminating pain in a patient, without causing paresthesia in the patient, the method comprising:
    • programming a computer-readable medium of an implanted signal generator to: generate a non-paresthesia-producing therapy signal, wherein at least a portion of the therapy signal is at a frequency of 1,200 Hz, with a pulse width in a pulse width range from 30 microseconds to 35 microseconds, and a current amplitude in a current amplitude range from 1 to 5 mA
    • and transmit the therapy signal to the dorsal column of the patient's spinal cord via a signal delivery device implanted in the patient's epidural space and electrically coupled to the implanted signal generator.
    • 38. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • generating the therapy signal includes generating the therapy signal at a duty cycle.
    • 43. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • the therapy signal is generated at a current amplitude of about 2.5 mA.
    • 44. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • at least a portion of the therapy signal is a square-wave signal.
    • 45. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a percutaneous lead.
    • 46. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is a paddle lead.
    • 47. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
    • 48. The method of claim 37, wherein
      • the signal delivery device is an elongated lead having
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Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure is directed generally to spinal cord modulation for inhibiting pain via short pulse width waveforms, and associated systems and methods.

BACKGROUND

Neurological stimulators have been developed to treat pain, movement disorders, functional disorders, spasticity, cancer, cardiac disorders, and various other medical conditions. Implantable neurological stimulation systems generally have an implantable pulse generator and one or more leads that deliver electrical pulses to neurological tissue via electrodes. For example, neurological stimulation systems for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) may include cylindrical leads that include a lead body with a circular cross-sectional shape and one or more conductive rings spaced apart from each other at the distal end of the lead body. The conductive rings operate as individual electrodes and, in many cases, the SCS leads are implanted percutaneously through a large needle inserted into the epidural space, with or without the assistance of a stylet.

Once implanted, the pulse generator applies electrical pulses to the neurological tissue via the electrodes, which in turn modifies the function of the patient's nervous system. Conventional SCS pain treatments, for example, apply low-frequency (e.g., less than 1,500 Hz), large pulse width (e.g., greater than 50 microsecond) electrical pulses to the spinal cord to generate sensations of tingling or paresthesia that mask or otherwise alter the patient's sensation of pain. In some cases, patients report that the generated sensations of tingling or paresthesia are perceived as more pleasant and/or less uncomfortable than the underlying pain sensation. Studies have suggested (at least anecdotally) that longer pulse width electrical pulses (e.g., in excess of 450 microseconds) achieve better pain-paresthesia overlap and comfort for patients (Lee et al., Predicted effects of pulse width programming in spinal cord stimulation: a mathematical modeling study, Med Biol Eng Comput (2011) 49:765-774).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a partially schematic illustration of an implantable spinal cord modulation system positioned at the spine to deliver therapeutic signals in accordance with several embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1B is a partially schematic, cross-sectional illustration of a patient's spine, illustrating representative locations for implanted lead bodies in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are flow diagrams illustrating methods conducted in accordance with embodiments of the disclosure.

FIG. 2C is a schematic illustration of a representative waveform having features in accordance with embodiments of the present technology.

FIG. 3 illustrates an arrangement of leads.

FIG. 4 is a partially schematic illustration of a lead body configured in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIGS. 5A-5C are partially schematic illustrations of extendible leads configured in accordance with several embodiments of the disclosure.

FIGS. 6A-6C are partially schematic illustrations of multifilar leads configured in accordance with several embodiments of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

1.0 Introduction

The present technology is directed generally to spinal cord modulation and associated systems and methods for inhibiting pain via waveforms with short pulse widths (e.g., less than 50 microseconds). In at least some embodiments, the waveforms also have frequencies (and/or frequency elements or components, e.g., fundamental frequencies) in the range of from about 2 Hz to about 1,500 Hz. In general, the short pulse width characteristics of the signal, alone or in combination with other signal parameters (e.g., frequency and/or amplitude) can produce pain relief without using the generation of paresthesia to mask the patient's sensation of pain. Several embodiments also provide simplified spinal cord modulation systems and components, and simplified procedures for the practitioner and/or the patient. Specific details of certain embodiments of the disclosure are described below with reference to methods for modulating one or more target neural populations (e.g., nerves) or sites of a patient, and associated implantable structures for providing the modulation. Although selected embodiments are described below with reference to modulating the dorsal column, dorsal horn, dorsal root, dorsal root entry zone, and/or other particular regions of the spinal column to control pain, the modulation may in some instances be directed to other neurological structures and/or target neural populations of the spinal cord and/or other neurological tissues. Some embodiments can have configurations, components or procedures different than those described in this section, and other embodiments may eliminate particular components or procedures. A person of ordinary skill in the relevant art, therefore, will understand that the disclosure may include other embodiments with additional elements, and/or may include other embodiments without several of the features shown and described below with reference to FIGS. 1A-6C.

In general terms, aspects of many of the following embodiments are directed to producing a therapeutic effect that includes pain reduction in the patient. The therapeutic effect can be produced by inhibiting, suppressing, down-regulating, preventing, or otherwise modulating the activity of the affected neural population. In many embodiments of the presently disclosed techniques, therapy-induced paresthesia is not a prerequisite to achieving pain reduction.

FIG. 1A schematically illustrates a representative treatment system 100 for providing relief from chronic pain and/or other conditions, arranged relative to the general anatomy of a patient's spinal cord 191. The system 100 can include an implantable pulse generator 101, which may be implanted subcutaneously within a patient 190 and may be coupled to a signal delivery element 110. In a representative example, the signal delivery element 110 includes a lead or lead body 111 that carries features for delivering therapy to the patient 190 after implantation. The pulse generator 101 can be connected directly to the lead 111, or it can be coupled to the lead 111 via a communication link 102 (e.g., an extension). Accordingly, the lead 111 can include a terminal section that is releasably connected to an extension at a break 114 (shown schematically in FIG. 1A). This allows a single type of terminal section to be used with patients of different body types (e.g., different heights). As used herein, the terms lead and lead body include any of a number of suitable substrates and/or support members that carry devices for providing therapy signals to the patient 190. For example, the lead 111 can include one or more electrodes or electrical contacts that direct electrical signals into the patient's tissue, such as to provide for patient relief. In other embodiments, the signal delivery element 110 can include devices other than a lead body (e.g., a paddle, a leadless implantable electrode, etc.) that also direct electrical signals and/or other types of signals to the patient 190.

The pulse generator 101 can transmit signals (e.g., electrical signals) to the signal delivery element 110 that up-regulate (e.g., stimulate or excite) and/or down-regulate (e.g., inhibit or suppress) target nerves. As used herein, and unless otherwise noted, the terms “modulate” and “modulation” refer generally to signals that have either type of the foregoing effects on the target nerves. The pulse generator 101 can include a machine-readable (e.g., computer-readable) medium containing instructions for generating and transmitting suitable therapy signals in accordance with the methods and/or parameters described herein. The pulse generator 101 and/or other elements of the system 100 can include one or more processors 107, memories 108 and/or input/output devices. Accordingly, the process of providing modulation signals and/or executing other associated functions can be performed by computer-executable instructions contained on computer-readable media, e.g., at the processor(s) 107 and/or memory(s) 108. The pulse generator 101 can include multiple portions, elements, and/or subsystems (e.g., for directing signals in accordance with multiple signal delivery parameters), housed in a single housing, as shown in FIG. 1A, or in multiple housings.

The pulse generator 101 can also receive and respond to an input signal received from one or more sources. The input signals can direct or influence the manner in which the therapy instructions are selected, executed, updated and/or otherwise performed. The input signal can be received from one or more sensors 112 (one is shown schematically in FIG. 1 for purposes of illustration) that are carried by the pulse generator 101 and/or distributed outside the pulse generator 101 (e.g., at other patient locations) while still communicating with the pulse generator 101. The sensors 112 can provide inputs that depend on or reflect patient state (e.g., patient position, patient posture and/or patient activity level), and/or inputs that are patient-independent (e.g., time). In other embodiments, inputs can be provided by the patient and/or the practitioner, as described in further detail later.

In some embodiments, the pulse generator 101 can obtain power to generate the therapy signals from an external power source 103. The external power source 103 can transmit power to the implanted pulse generator 101 using electromagnetic induction (e.g., RF signals). For example, the external power source 103 can include an external coil 104 that communicates with a corresponding internal coil (not shown) within the implantable pulse generator 101. The external power source 103 can be portable for ease of use.

In another embodiment, the pulse generator 101 can obtain the power to generate therapy signals from an internal power source, in addition to or in lieu of the external power source 103. For example, the implanted pulse generator 101 can include a non-rechargeable battery or a rechargeable battery to provide such power. When the internal power source includes a rechargeable battery, the external power source 103 can be used to recharge the battery. The external power source 103 can in turn be recharged from a suitable power source (e.g., conventional wall power).

In some cases, a trial modulator 105 can be coupled to the signal delivery element 110 during an initial implant procedure, prior to implanting the pulse generator 101. For example, a practitioner (e.g., a physician and/or a company representative) can use the trial modulator 105 to vary the modulation parameters provided to the signal delivery element 110 in real time, and select optimal or particularly efficacious parameters. These parameters can include the position of the signal delivery element 110, as well as the characteristics of the electrical signals provided to the signal delivery element 110. In a typical process, the practitioner uses a cable assembly 120 to temporarily connect the trial modulator 105 to the signal delivery device 110. The cable assembly 120 can accordingly include a first connector 121 that is releasably connected to the trial modulator 105, and a second connector 122 that is releasably connected to the signal delivery element 110. Accordingly, the signal delivery element 110 can include a connection element that allows it to be connected to a signal generator either directly (if it is long enough) or indirectly (if it is not). The practitioner can test the efficacy of the signal delivery element 110 in an initial position. The practitioner can then disconnect the cable assembly 120, reposition the signal delivery element 110, and reapply the electrical modulation. This process can be performed iteratively until the practitioner obtains the desired position for the signal delivery device 110. Optionally, the practitioner may move the partially implanted signal delivery element 110 without disconnecting the cable assembly 120.

After the position of the signal delivery element 110 and appropriate signal delivery parameters are established using the trial modulator 105, the patient 190 can receive therapy via signals generated by the trial modulator 105, generally for a limited period of time. In a representative application, the patient 190 receives such therapy for one week. During this time, the patient wears the cable assembly 120 and the trial modulator 105 outside the body. Assuming the trial therapy is effective or shows the promise of being effective, the practitioner then replaces the trial modulator 105 with the implanted pulse generator 101, and programs the pulse generator 101 with parameters selected based on the experience gained during the trial period. Optionally, the practitioner can also replace the signal delivery element 110. Once the implantable pulse generator 101 has been positioned within the patient 190, the signal delivery parameters provided by the pulse generator 101 can still be updated remotely via a wireless external programmer 109 (e.g., a physician's remote, laptop, PDA, tablet, etc.) and/or a wireless patient programmer 106 (e.g., a patient remote). Generally, the patient 190 has control over fewer parameters than does the practitioner. For example, the capability of the patient programmer 106 may be limited to only starting and/or stopping the pulse generator 101, and/or adjusting the signal amplitude.

In any of the foregoing embodiments, the parameters in accordance with which the pulse generator 101 provides signals can be adjusted during portions of the therapy regimen. For example, the frequency, amplitude, pulse width and/or signal delivery location can be adjusted in accordance with a preset program, patient and/or physician inputs, and/or in a random or pseudorandom manner. Such parameter variations can be used to address a number of potential clinical situations, including changes in the patient's perception of pain, changes in the preferred target neural population, and/or patient accommodation or habituation.

2.0 Representative Therapy Parameters

FIG. 1B is a cross-sectional illustration of the spinal cord 191 and an adjacent vertebra 195 (based generally on information from Crossman and Neary, “Neuroanatomy,” 1995 (published by Churchill Livingstone)), along with the locations at which leads 110 can be implanted in representative patients. The spinal cord 191 is situated between a ventrally located ventral body 196 and the dorsally located transverse process 198 and spinous process 197. Arrows V and D identify the ventral and dorsal directions, respectively. The spinal cord 191 itself is located within the dura mater 199, which also surrounds portions of the nerves exiting the spinal cord 191, including the dorsal roots 193, dorsal root entry zone 188, and dorsal root ganglia 194. The leads 110 (indicated by leads 110b) can be positioned just off the spinal cord midline 189 (e.g., about 1 mm. offset) in opposing lateral directions so that the two leads 110b are spaced apart from each other by about 2 mm, in particular embodiments. In other embodiments, a single lead 110a can be positioned at the midline 189. In still further embodiments, lead(s) can be positioned at or proximate to the dorsal root 193 (as shown by lead 110c) and/or at or proximate to the dorsal root ganglia 194 (as shown by lead 110d).

FIGS. 2A and 2B are flow diagrams illustrating methods for treating patients in accordance with particular embodiments of the present disclosure. Manufacturers or other suitable entities can provide instructions to practitioners for executing these and other methods disclosed herein. Manufacturers can also program devices of the disclosed systems to carry out at least some of these methods. FIG. 2A illustrates a method 600 that includes implanting a signal generator in a patient (block 610). The signal generator can be implanted at the patient's lower back or other suitable location. The method 600 further includes implanting a signal delivery device (e.g., a lead, paddle or other suitable device) at the patient's spinal cord region (block 620). This portion of the method can in turn include implanting the device (e.g., active contacts of the device) at a vertebral level ranging from about T8 to about T12 (e.g., about T8-T12, inclusive) (block 621), and at a lateral location ranging from the spinal cord midline to the DREZ, inclusive (block 622). At block 630, the method includes applying a short pulse width waveform, via the signal generator and the signal delivery device. In particular examples, the signal (or at least a portion of the signal) can have pulses with pulse widths ranging from about 10-50 microseconds, or from about 20-40 microseconds, or from about 25-35 microseconds, or from about 30-35 microseconds, or about 30 microseconds. The amplitude of the waveform (e.g., the amplitudes of the individual pulses) can be from about 0.5-20 mA, or from about 2-18 mA, or from about 5-15 mA, or from about 7-10 mA, or about 0.5-7 mA. The frequency of the signal (or at least a portion of the signal) can be at or below 1.5 kHz, e.g., from about 2 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 500 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 700 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 1 kHz to about 1.5 kHz, or about 1.2 kHz, or from about 500 Hz to about 1.2 kHz. In one representative example, the waveform includes a frequency of 1,200 Hz, a pulse width of 30 microseconds, and an amplitude that provides pain relief without generating paresthesia (generally between 0.5-20 mA).

The method 600 further includes suppressing, inhibiting or otherwise reducing the patient's pain, e.g., chronic low back pain (block 640). This portion of the method can in turn include reducing pain without unwanted sensory effects and/or limitations (block 641), and/or without motor effects (block 642). For example, block 641 can include reducing or eliminating pain without reducing patient perception of other sensations, and/or without triggering additional pain and/or paresthesia. Block 642 can include reducing or eliminating pain without triggering muscle action and/or without interfering with motor signal transmission.

FIG. 2B illustrates a method 601 that includes features in addition to those described above with reference to FIG. 2A. For example, the process of applying a short pulse width waveform (block 630) can include doing so over a wide amplitude range (e.g., over any of the amplitude ranges described immediately above) without creating unwanted side effects, such as undesirable sensations and/or motor interference (block 631). In another embodiment, the process of applying a short pulse width waveform can include applying the waveform at a fixed amplitude (block 632).

The process of inhibiting, suppressing or otherwise reducing patient pain (block 640) can include doing so without creating paresthesia (block 643), or in association with a deliberately generated paresthesia (block 644). For example, paresthesia may be used by the practitioner for site selection (e.g., to determine the location at which active electrodes are positioned). In addition to the above, reducing patient pain can include doing so with relative insensitivity to patient attributes that standard SCS is normally highly sensitive to (block 645). These attributes can include patient movement (block 646) and/or patient position (block 647).

FIG. 2C illustrates a representative waveform 650 having pulses 660 and other characteristics, parameters and/or features in accordance with representative embodiments of the present technology. The pulses 660 can include cathodic phase pulses 651 paired with anodic phase pulses 652. The cathodic phase pulses 651 can be separated from the anodic phase pulses 652 by an interphase interval 653. A pulse pair interval 656 can separate one pulse pair (e.g., a cathodic phase pulse 651 paired with an anodic phase pulse 652) from the next. The frequency of the waveform 650 is generally defined as the inverse of the period 657. The period 657 is in turn the sum of a cathodic phase pulse width 654, an anodic phase pulse width 655, the interphase interval 653 and the pulse pair interval 656.

The values described above with reference to FIG. 2A for pulse width can apply to the cathodic phase pulse width 654 and/or the anodic phase pulse width 655. The cathodic and anodic phase pulse widths 654, 655 are equal in some embodiments, and unequal in others. In general, the area enclosed by the cathodic phase pulses 651 and the anodic phase pulses 652, as shown in FIG. 2C, can be equal. Accordingly, the overall charge applied to the patient as a result of the cathodic phase pulses 651 can be equal and opposite to the overall charge applied to the patient as a result of the anodic phase pulses 652. This charge balancing approach can reduce or eliminate potential adverse effects associated with charge accumulation within the patient.

In general, e.g., when the cathodic and anodic pulse widths 654, 655 are equal, the amplitudes of the cathodic phase pulses 651 and the anodic phase pulses 652 are also equal, but in at least some embodiments, the amplitudes can be different. For example, when the pulse widths of the cathodic phase pulses 651 are different than those of the anodic phase pulses 652, the respective amplitudes of the pulses can also be different, and can be selected to balance the overall charge applied to the patient.

In particular embodiments, the interphase interval 653 can have a value of from about 10 microseconds to about 980 milliseconds. The pulse pair interval 656 can have a value in the range of from about 10 microseconds to about 980 milliseconds. In at least some embodiments, the value of pulse pair interval 656 results from the selection of the cathodic phase pulse width 654, the anodic phase pulse width 655, the interphase interval 653 and the period 657. In other embodiments, the pulse pair interval 656 can be selected first with other parameters (e.g., the interphase interval 653) being secondary. In still further embodiments, the parameters can be selected in other orders, with the pulse width(s) (anodic and/or cathodic) generally being an independent variable.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of a typical lead placement used during a representative treatment regimen. Two leads 111 (shown as a first lead 111a and a second lead 111b) can be positioned generally end-to-end to provide a modulation capability that extends over several vertebral levels of the patients' spine. The leads 111a, 111b can be positioned to overlap slightly, to account for possible shifts in lead location. During the course of the therapy, contacts C of the two leads 111a, 111b can be activated on one lead at a time. In other words, the contacts C of only one lead 111 can be active at any one time, and signals need not directed between the contacts C located on different leads 111. While two leads can be used is some cases, it is expected that in other cases, a single lead can be positioned at the appropriate vertebral level. The lead can have more widely spaced contacts to achieve the same or similar effects as those described herein as will be described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. 4.

The contacts C of each lead 111a, 111b have a width W2 of approximately 3 mm, and are separated from each other by a distance D1 of approximately 1 mm. Accordingly, the center-to-center spacing S between neighboring contacts C is approximately 4 mm. The leads 111a, 111b can be positioned at or close to the patients' spinal midline 189. In a representative embodiment one lead can be positioned on one side of the midline 189, and the other lead can be positioned on the other side of the patients' midline 189. The leads 111a, 111b can be positioned at any of a variety of locations within a relatively wide window W1 having an overall width of ±3-5 mm from the midline 189 (e.g., an overall width of 6-10 mm), without significantly affecting the efficacy of the treatment.

In one embodiment, one or more of the above-described waveform parameters and lead placements are used to produce an incomplete conduction block (e.g., an incomplete block of afferent and/or efferent signal transmission) at the dorsal root level. This block may occur at the dorsal column, dorsal horn, and/or dorsal root entry zone, in addition to or in lieu of the dorsal root. In any of these cases, the conduction block is selective to and/or preferentially affects the smaller Aδ and/or C fibers and is expected to produce a decrease in excitatory inputs to the second order neurons, thus producing a decrease in pain signals supplied along the spinal thalamic tract.

In another embodiment, one or more of the above-described waveform parameters and lead placements are used to activate an interneuron pool and thus increase the inhibition of inputs into second order neurons. This activation can, in effect, desensitize the second order neurons and convert them closer to a normal state before the effects of the chronic pain associated signals have an effect on the patient.

In still another embodiment, one or more of the above-described waveform parameters and lead placements are used to reduce the hypersensitivity of neurons by restoring or moving the “baseline” of the neural cells in chronic pain patients toward the normal baseline and firing frequency of non-chronic pain patients. This effect can in turn reduce the sensation of pain in this patient population without affecting other neural transmissions (for example, touch, heat, etc.).

In another embodiment, one or more of the above-described waveform parameters and lead placements are used to (1) reduce neural transmissions entering the spinal cord at the dorsal root and/or the dorsal root entry zone, and/or (2) reduce neural activity at the dorsal horn itself. It is generally known that chronic pain patients may be in a state of prolonged sensory sensitization at both the nociceptive afferent neurons (e.g., a peripheral nerve and its associated dorsal root) and at higher order neural systems (e.g., the dorsal horn neuron). It is also known that the dorsal horn neurons (e.g., the width dynamic range or WDR cells) are sensitized in chronic pain states. Chronic pain can be associated with an acute “windup” of the WDR cells (e.g., to a hyperactive state). It is believed that the therapy signals applied using the disclosed parameters may be used to reduce pain by reducing, suppressing, and/or attenuating the afferent nociceptive inputs delivered to the WDR cells, as it is expected that these inputs, unless attenuated, can be responsible for the sensitized state of the WDR cells. In one embodiment, the disclosed parameters may be used to act directly on the WDR cells to desensitize these cells. The effect of the presently disclosed therapy on peripheral inputs may produce short term pain relief, and the effect on the WDR cells may produce longer term pain relief.

In one embodiment, one or more of the above-described waveform parameters and lead placements are used to modulate glial cells in the nervous system. Glial cells were traditionally thought to play primarily a structural role in the nervous system, for example by surrounding neurons, holding neurons in place, providing electrical insulation, and destroying pathogens. However, in recent years it has been suggested that glial cells play a role in the transmission of chronic pain by releasing various mediators such as nitric oxide, pro-inflammatory cytokines, excitatory amino acids, and prostaglandins. Release of these mediators can cause the release of substance P and excitatory amino acids by peripheral nerves, which in turn results in action potential generation. Substance P and excitatory amino acid release can also further activate glial cells, creating a positive feedback loop. Glial cells communicate via slow inward calcium currents, which are activated by a variety of factors including potassium. The short pulse width waveform parameters disclosed herein may be used to reduce extracellular potassium levels by primary afferent inhibition, thereby reducing glial cell activity. The short pulse width waveform parameters disclosed herein may also be used to produce pain reduction in part by changing the conductance of fast sodium channels in neurons and/or glial cells, thereby specifically down-regulating those sodium channels that are most involved with chronic pain.

As disclosed herein, short pulse width electrical modulation can be used to normalize pathological neural networks associated with fast sodium channel activity and/or expression by attenuating pathology-induced sodium channel activity and modulating glial neuronal cell interaction (GNI). Based on this, the present application provides methods and devices for attenuating pathology-induced sodium channel activity, modulating GNI, and treating various conditions associated with fast sodium channel activity and/or expression and GNI.

In certain embodiments, methods are provided for attenuating pathology-induced sodium channel activity by applying short pulse width electrical stimulation to a target tissue or organ (e.g., the spinal cord). This attenuation may result in decreased activity and/or expression of one or more fast sodium channels, including for example NaV1.8 or NaV1.9. In certain embodiments, decreased activity and/or expression of one or more fast sodium channels results in decreased glial cell and/or neuronal activity. In certain embodiments, attenuation of pathology-induced sodium channel activity may also result in increased activity and/or expression of one or more slow sodium channels, including for example NaV1.3.

4.0 Expected Benefits Associated with Certain Embodiments

As discussed above, an expected benefit of short pulse width waveforms (e.g., having pulse widths within the ranges described above) is that when applied at the appropriate amplitude, to the appropriate neural population, such pulses can effectively reduce or eliminate patient pain without the signal producing, creating, or generating paresthesia. In addition to providing pain relief without paresthesia, such waveforms can produce pain relief with less power than is required for waveforms having longer pulse widths, depending upon the values selected for other signal delivery parameters.

In any of the foregoing embodiments, aspects of the therapy provided to the patient may be varied within or outside the parameters described above, while still obtaining beneficial results for patients suffering from chronic pain (e.g., chronic lower back pain, chronic leg pain, chronic limb pain, etc.). For example, the location of the lead body (and in particular, the lead body electrodes or contacts) can be varied over the significant lateral and/or axial ranges described above. Other characteristics of the applied signal can also be varied. For example, the frequency of the signal (or at least a portion of the signal) can be at or below 1.5 kHz, e.g., from about 2 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 500 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 700 Hz to about 1.5 kHz, or from about 1 kHz to about 1.5 kHz, or about 1.2 kHz, or from about 500 Hz to about 1.2 kHz. The amplitude of the signal can range from about 0.1 mA to about 20 mA in a particular embodiment, and in further particular embodiments, can range from about 0.5 mA to about 10 mA, or about 0.5 mA to about 7 mA, or about 0.5 mA to about 5 mA. The amplitude of the applied signal can be ramped up and/or down. In particular embodiments, the amplitude can be increased or set at an initial level to establish a therapeutic effect, and then reduced to a lower level to save power without forsaking efficacy. In particular embodiments, the signal amplitude refers to the electrical current level, e.g., for current-controlled systems. In other embodiments, the signal amplitude can refer to the electrical voltage level, e.g., for voltage-controlled systems. In particular embodiments, the signal (or at least a portion of the signal) can have pulses with pulse widths ranging from about 10-50 microseconds, or from about 20-40 microseconds, or from about 25-35 microseconds, or from about 30-35 microseconds, or about 30 microseconds. The specific values selected for the foregoing parameters may vary from patient to patient and/or from indication to indication and/or on the basis of the selected vertebral location. In addition, the methodology may make use of other parameters, in addition to or in lieu of those described above, to monitor and/or control patient therapy. For example, in cases for which the pulse generator includes a constant voltage arrangement rather than a constant current arrangement, the current values described above may be replaced with corresponding voltage values. In another example, it is expected that the signal can have short pulse widths over a wide range of frequencies while producing pain relief without paresthesia. For example, pulse widths of 10-50 microseconds may be used to produce such results at frequencies ranging from about 2 Hz to about 1,500 Hz.

Patients can receive multiple signals in accordance with still further embodiments of the disclosure. For example, patients can receive two or more signals, each with different signal delivery parameters. In one particular example, the signals are interleaved with each other. In other embodiments, patients can receive sequential “packets” or “bursts” of pulses at different frequencies, with each packet having a duration of less than one second, several seconds, several minutes, or longer depending upon the particular patient and indication.

In still further embodiments, the duty cycle can be from about 50%-100% further embodiments, the duty cycle can have a value of less than 50%, e.g., at or less than 20% or at or less than 10%. In yet another embodiment, the duty cycle parameters can be set to 2 seconds on, 20 seconds off. In still further embodiments, the duty cycle parameters can be set to 20 seconds on, 120 seconds off.

5.0 Representative Lead Configurations

FIG. 4 is a partially schematic illustration of a lead 910 having first and second contacts C1, C2 positioned to deliver modulation signals in accordance with particular embodiments of the disclosure. The contacts are accordingly positioned to contact the patient's tissue when implanted. The lead 910 can include at least two first contacts C1 and at least two second contacts C2 to support bipolar modulation signals via each contact grouping. In one aspect of this embodiment, the lead 910 can be elongated along a major or lead axis A, with the contacts C1, C2 spaced equally from the major axis A. In general, the term elongated refers to a lead or other signal delivery element having a length (e.g., along the spinal cord) greater than its width. The lead 910 can have an overall length L (over which active contacts are positioned) that is longer than that of typical leads. In particular, the length L can be sufficient to position first contacts C1 at one or more vertebral locations (including associated neural populations), and position the second contacts C2 at another vertebral location (including associated neural populations) that is spaced apart from the first and that is superior the first. For example, the first contacts C1 may be positioned at vertebral levels T8-T12 to treat low back pain, and the second contacts C2 may be positioned at superior vertebral locations (e.g., cervical locations) to treat arm pain. Representative lead lengths are from about 30 cm to about 150 cm, and in particular embodiments, from about 40 cm to about 50 cm. Pulses may be applied to both groups of contacts in accordance with several different arrangements. For example pulses provided to one group may be interleaved with pulses applied to the other, or the same signal may be rapidly switched from one group to the other. In other embodiments, the signals applied to individual contacts, pairs of contacts, and/or contacts in different groups may be multiplexed in other manners. In any of these embodiments, each of the contacts C1, C2 can have an appropriately selected surface area, e.g., in the range of from about 3 mm2 to about 25 mm2, and in particular embodiments, from about 8 mm2 to about 15 mm2. Individual contacts on a given lead can have different surface area values, within the foregoing ranges, than neighboring or other contacts of the lead, with values selected depending upon features including the vertebral location of the individual contact.

Another aspect of an embodiment of the lead 910 shown in FIG. 4 is that the first contacts C1 can be spaced apart (e.g., closest edge to closest edge) by a first distance S1 that is greater than a corresponding second distance S2 between immediately neighboring second contacts C2. In a representative embodiment, the first distance S1 can range from about 3 mm up to a distance that corresponds to one-half of a vertebral body, one vertebral body, or two vertebral bodies (e.g., about 16 mm, 32 mm, or 64 mm, respectively). In another particular embodiment, the first distance S1 can be from about 5 mm to about 15 mm. This increased spacing can reduce the complexity of the lead 910, and can still provide effective treatment to the patient. In still further embodiments, the inferior first contacts C1 can have the close spacing S2, and the superior second contacts C2 can have the wide spacing S1, depending upon patient indications and/or preferences. In still further embodiments, as noted above, contacts at both the inferior and superior locations can have the wide spacing. In other embodiments, the lead 910 can include other arrangements of different contact spacings, depending upon the particular patient and indication. For example, the widths of the second contacts C2 (and/or the first contacts C1) can be a greater fraction of the spacing between neighboring contacts than is represented schematically in FIG. 4. The distance S1 between neighboring first contacts C1 can be less than an entire vertebral body (e.g., 5 mm or 16 mm) or greater than one vertebral body while still achieving benefits associated with increased spacing, e.g., reduced complexity. The lead 910 can have all contacts spaced equally (e.g., by up to about two vertebral bodies), or the contacts can have different spacings, as described above. Two or more first contacts C1 can apply modulation at one vertebral level (e.g., T9) while two or more additional first contacts C1 can provide modulation at the same or a different frequency at a different vertebral level (e.g., T10).

In some cases, it may be desirable to adjust the distance between the inferior contacts C1 and the superior contacts C2. For example, the lead 910 can have a coil arrangement (like a telephone cord) or other length-adjusting feature that allows the practitioner to selectively vary the distance between the sets of contacts. In a particular aspect of this arrangement, the coiled portion of the lead can be located between the first contacts C1 and the second contacts C2. For example, in an embodiment shown in FIG. 5A, the lead 910 can include a proximal portion 910a carrying the first contacts C1, a distal portion 910c carrying the second contacts C2, and an intermediate portion 910b having a pre-shaped, variable-length strain relief feature, for example, a sinusoidally-shaped or a helically-shaped feature. The lead 910 also includes a stylet channel or lumen 915 extending through the lead 910 from the proximal portion 910a to the distal portion 910c.

Referring next to FIG. 5B, the practitioner inserts a stylet 916 into the stylet lumen 915, which straightens the lead 910 for implantation. The practitioner then inserts the lead 910 into the patient, via the stylet 916, until the distal portion 910c and the associated second contacts C2 are at the desired location. The practitioner then secures the distal portion 910c relative to the patient with a distal lead device 917c. The distal lead device 917c can include any of a variety of suitable remotely deployable structures for securing the lead, including, but not limited to an expandable balloon.

Referring next to FIG. 5C, the practitioner can partially or completely remove the stylet 916 and allow the properties of the lead 910 (e.g., the natural tendency of the intermediate portion 910b to assume its initial shape) to draw the proximal portion 910a toward the distal portion 910c. When the proximal portion 910a has the desired spacing relative to the distal portion 910c, the practitioner can secure the proximal portion 910a relative to the patient with a proximal lead device 917a (e.g., a suture or other lead anchor). In this manner, the practitioner can select an appropriate spacing between the first contacts C1 at the proximal portion 910a and the second contacts C2 at distal portion 910c that provides effective treatment at multiple patient locations along the spine.

FIG. 6A is an enlarged view of the proximal portion 910a of the lead 910, illustrating an internal arrangement in accordance with a particular embodiment of the disclosure. FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view of the lead 910 taken substantially along line 11B-11B of FIG. 6A. Referring now to FIG. 6B, the lead 910 can include multiple conductors 921 arranged within an outer insulation element 918, for example, a plastic sleeve. In a particular embodiment, the conductors 921 can include a central conductor 921a. In another embodiment, the central conductor 921a can be eliminated and replaced with the stylet lumen 915 described above. In any of these embodiments, each individual conductor 921 can include multiple conductor strands 919 (e.g., a multifilar arrangement) surrounded by an individual conductor insulation element 920. During manufacture, selected portions of the outer insulation 918 and the individual conductor insulation elements 920 can be removed, thus exposing individual conductors 921 at selected positions along the length of the lead 910. These exposed portions can themselves function as contacts, and accordingly can provide modulation to the patient. In another embodiment, ring (or cylinder) contacts are attached to the exposed portions, e.g., by crimping or welding. The manufacturer can customize the lead 910 by spacing the removed sections of the outer insulation element 918 and the conductor insulation elements 920 in a particular manner. For example, the manufacturer can use a stencil or other arrangement to guide the removal process, which can include, but is not limited to, an ablative process. This arrangement allows the same overall configuration of the lead 910 to be used for a variety of applications and patients without major changes. In another aspect of this embodiment, each of the conductors 921 can extend parallel to the others along the major axis of the lead 910 within the outer insulation 918, as opposed to a braided or coiled arrangement. In addition, each of the conductor strands 919 of an individual conductor element 920 can extend parallel to its neighbors, also without spiraling. It is expected that these features, alone or in combination, will increase the flexibility of the overall lead 910, allowing it to be inserted with a greater level of versatility and/or into a greater variety of patient anatomies then conventional leads.

FIG. 6C is a partially schematic, enlarged illustration of the proximal portion 910a shown in FIG. 6A. One expected advantage of the multifilar cable described above with reference to FIG. 6B is that the impedance of each of the conductors 921 can be reduced when compared to conventional coil conductors. As a result, the diameter of the conductors 921 can be reduced and the overall diameter of the lead 910 can also be reduced. One result of advantageously reducing the lead diameter is that the contacts C1 may have a greater length in order to provide the required surface area needed for effective modulation. If the contacts C1 are formed from exposed portions of the conductors 921, this is not expected to present an issue. If the contacts C1 are ring or cylindrical contacts, then in particular embodiments, the length of the contact may become so great that it inhibits the practitioner's ability to readily maneuver the lead 910 during patient insertion. One approach to addressing this potential issue is to divide a particular contact C1 into multiple sub-contacts, shown in FIG. 6C as six sub-contacts C1a-C1f. In this embodiment, each of the individual sub-contacts C1a-C1f can be connected to the same conductor 921 shown in FIG. 6B. Accordingly, the group of sub-contacts connected to a given conductor 921 can operate essentially as one long contact, without inhibiting the flexibility of the lead 910.

As noted above, one feature of the foregoing arrangements is that they can be easy to design and manufacture. For example, the manufacturer can use different stencils to provide different contact spacings, depending upon specific patient applications. In addition to or in lieu of the foregoing effect, the foregoing arrangement can provide for greater maneuverability and facilitate the implantation process by eliminating ring electrodes and/or other rigid contacts, or dividing the contacts into subcontacts. In other embodiments, other arrangements can be used to provide contact flexibility. For example, the contacts can be formed from a conductive silicone, e.g., silicone impregnated with a suitable loading of conductive material, such as platinum, iridium or another noble metal.

Yet another feature of an embodiment of the lead shown in FIG. 4 is that a patient can receive effective therapy with just a single bipolar pair of active contacts. If more than one pair of contacts is active, each pair of contacts can receive the identical waveform, so that active contacts can be shorted to each other. In another embodiment, the implanted pulse generator (not visible in FIG. 4) can serve as a return electrode. For example, the pulse generator can include a housing that serves as the return electrode, or the pulse generator can otherwise carry a return electrode that has a fixed position relative to the pulse generator. Accordingly, the modulation provided by the active contacts can be unipolar modulation, as opposed to the more typical bipolar stimulation associated with standard SCS treatments.

6.0 Representative Modulation Locations and Indications

Many of the embodiments described above were described in the context of treating chronic, neuropathic low back pain with modulation signals applied to the lower thoracic vertebrae (T8-T12). In other embodiments, modulation signals having parameters (e.g., frequency, pulse width, amplitude, and/or duty cycle) generally similar to those described above can be applied to other patient locations to address other indications. For example, while the foregoing methodologies included applying modulation at lateral locations ranging from the spinal cord midline to the DREZ, in other embodiments, the modulation may be applied to the foramen region, laterally outward from the DREZ. In other embodiments, the modulation may be applied to other spinal levels of the patient. For example, modulation may be applied to the sacral region and more particularly, the “horse tail” region at which the sacral nerves enter the sacrum. Urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence represent example indications that are expected to be treatable with modulation applied at this location. In other embodiments, the modulation may be applied to other thoracic vertebrae. For example, modulation may be applied to thoracic vertebrae above T8. In a particular embodiment, modulation may be applied to the T3-T6 region to treat angina. Modulation can be applied to high thoracic vertebrae to treat pain associated with shingles. Modulation may be applied to the cervical vertebrae to address chronic regional pain syndrome and/or total body pain, and may be used to replace neck surgery. Suitable cervical locations include vertebral levels C3-C7, inclusive. In other embodiments, modulation may be applied to the occipital nerves, for example, to address migraine headaches.

As described above, modulation in accordance with the foregoing parameters may also be applied to treat acute and/or chronic nociceptive pain. For example, modulation in accordance with these parameters can be used during surgery to supplement and/or replace anesthetics (e.g., a spinal tap). Such applications may be used for tumor removal, knee surgery, and/or other surgical techniques. Similar techniques may be used with an implanted device to address post-operative pain, and can avoid the need for topical lidocaine. In still further embodiments, modulation in accordance with the foregoing parameters can be used to address other peripheral nerves. For example, modulation can be applied directly to peripheral nerves to address phantom limb pain.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that specific embodiments of the disclosure have been described herein for purposes of illustration, but that various modifications may be made without deviating from the disclosure. For example, the specific parameter ranges and indications described above may be different in further embodiments. The lead described above with reference to FIGS. 4-6C can have more than two groups of contacts, and/or can have other contact spacings in other embodiments. In some embodiments, as described above, the signal amplitude applied to the patient can be constant. In other embodiments, the amplitude can vary in a preselected manner, e.g., via ramping up/down, and/or cycling among multiple amplitudes. The signal delivery elements can have an epidural location, as discussed above with regard to FIG. 1B, and in other embodiments, can have an extradural location. In particular embodiments described above, signals having the foregoing characteristics are expected to provide therapeutic benefits for patients having low back pain and/or leg pain, when stimulation is applied at vertebral levels from about T8 to about T12. In at least some other embodiments, it is believed that this range can extend from about T5 to about L1.

Certain aspects of the disclosure described in the context of particular embodiments may be combined or eliminated in other embodiments. For example, therapies directed to particular indications may be combined in particular embodiments. Further, while advantages associated with certain embodiments have been described in the context of those embodiments, other embodiments may also exhibit such advantages, and not all embodiments need necessarily exhibit such advantages to fall within the scope of the present disclosure. Accordingly, the present disclosure and associated technology can encompass other embodiments not expressly shown or described herein.

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Vorrichtung zur Desynchronisation von neuronaler Hirnaktivität FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM JÜLICH GMBH 17 April 2003 25 November 2004
Method of treatment of patients with consequences of injures of spinal marrow IR NII TRAVMATOLOGII ORTOPEDI 21 July 1987 07 October 1989
慢性疼痛症候群、震せん、痴呆、および関連疾患を治療する装置、並びに、高周波数、高強度の経皮電気刺激を用いて電気麻酔を誘発する装置 LEON M SILVERSTONE 26 October 2001 16 July 2002
Stimulator device with sequenced pulses across multiple pairs of electrodes. IVOR STEPHEN GILLBE 20 May 2008 26 November 2008
折りたたみ可能/拡張可能な筒状電極リード ボストン サイエンティフィック リミテッド 01 March 2005 18 October 2007
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US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 1 US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 2 US10149978 Spinal cord modulation inhibiting 3