“It is a very old idea, to treat the nervous system with electricity…but the modern use of neuromodulation with pacemaker-type devices was actually started here in Cleveland, some 50 years ago…the technology has evolved really well. Today, we do as much neuromodulation targeting the brain as we do targeting the spine and the nerves.”

Andre Machado, MD, PhD, Institute Chair, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues are quite familiar with the use of neuromodulation techniques to treat movement disorders and other neurological illnesses. In fact, Machado told NeurologyLive that the process as we know it was originally enacted in Cleveland to treat chronic pain with spinal cord stimulation.

Now, neuromodulation procedures such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) have grown in popularity to become a more standard treatment for patients with Parkinson disease, among other conditions. Machado noted that increased use over time has paralleled the improvement, as the more it has been done, the safer it has become, and the more adept clinicians have become at utilizing it.

Machado spoke with NeurologyLive to offer insight into the evolution of neuromodulation treatment. He discussed its history, where he foresees its use going forward, as well as how it is being utilized in practice at Cleveland Clinic.