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System and Method for Modulation of the Spinoreticular Tracts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000220211D
Publication Date: 2012-Jul-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 34K

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Abstract

This idea specifies a system and method for modulating the transmission of signals in the spinoreticular tracts of the spinal cord. Leads for electrical stimulation can be implanted via the anterior or posterior epidural space. Leads may be positioned ventro-laterally, between the dorsal and ventral rootlets, near the ventral or dorsal horn. Neuromodulation methods and techniques that are intended to reduce axonal activity in the spinoreticular tracts can be used. The idea is to modulate neuronal traffic in the spinoreticular tracts may be used in conjunction with other implantable medical devices. The system may in fact be part of a SCS system that has leads implanted for dorsal column stimulation.

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System and Method for Modulation of the Spinoreticular Tracts

This idea specifies a system and method for modulating the transmission of signals in the spinoreticular tracts of the spinal cord. Leads for electrical stimulation can be implanted via the anterior or posterior epidural space. Leads may be positioned ventro-laterally, between the dorsal and ventral rootlets, near the ventral or dorsal horn. Neuromodulation methods and techniques that are intended to reduce axonal activity in the spinoreticular tracts can be used. The idea is to modulate neuronal traffic in the spinoreticular tracts may be used in conjunction with other implantable medical devices. The system may in fact be part of a SCS system that has leads implanted for dorsal column stimulation.

The spinoreticular tract is an ascending pathway (with neuronal cell bodies bilaterally in the dorsal and ventral horn) that courses within the ventrolateral spinal column, terminating ipsilaterally in the reticular formation of the brain stem (limbic forebrain). This tract plays a significant role in the sensation of pain, especially deep, chronic pain. It is an important pathway for the modulation of the nociceptive segmental pathways by activating brain stem structures responsible for descending suppression. In addition to transmitting nociceptive signals, the spinoreticular tracts transmit thermal and nondiscriminatory touch signals from the spinal cord to the thalamus indirectly. An alternative system and method of electrical stimulation to directly modulate pain traffic to higher brain centers is needed.

This idea specifies a system and method for modulating traffic in the spinoreticular tract of the spinal cord to alleviate the effects of chronic pain.

Preferred embodiments of this system include narrowly-spaced, radially-segmented percutaneous electrodes implanted rostral to the vertebral level where the nerves innervating the painful areas enter the spinal cord. Leads are positioned lateral to midline via posterior or anterior epidural space access. At the minimum, one of the...