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Spinal Cord Stimulation Adapted for Treating Arrhythmia in Russia
May 31, 2018 14:02

The method accelerates patients’ recovery and prevents the onset of atrial fibrillation after upfront cardiac surgery, the Meshalkin Novosibirsk Medical Research Center reports.
Specialists of the Meshalkin Novosibirsk Medical Research Center have first used neurostimulation of the spinal cord to treat atrial fibrillation – arrhythmia - which threatens strokes and heart failure. According to Alexander Romanov, the leading researcher of the Heart Rhythm Disorders Department of the Meshalkin Centre, this method accelerates patients’ recovery and prevents the onset of atrial fibrillation after upfront cardiac surgeries.
Neurostimulation of the spinal cord is performed for patients with chronic pain syndrome, including the chest, as well as with Parkinson's disease. Neurostimulants are thin electrodes that are placed in the area of the spinal cord. The stimulation takes place with the help of a separate external device.
"It was noticed that after the installation of neurostimulators, patients get not only relieved of the pain syndrome, but restored heart rhythm as well. We launched a study among patients who undergo upfront heart surgery: electrodes are installed 2 to 3 days before the intervention and remain for 5 days after the surgery for exerting temporary neurostimulation. Afterwards they are removed. The patients feel fine, and they are free from the need of painkillers,” – Alexander Romanov said.
According to statistics, atrial fibrillation occurs in 30 to 50 percent of patients after cardiac surgeries.
"This complicates the course of the postoperative period and leads to more frequent hospitalizations and heart failures. Chaotic contraction of the heart can also lead to a stroke,” - the scientist explained.

Specialists of the Meshalkin Novosibirsk Medical Research Center have embarked on a more ambitious research of the new technology on a group of 60 patients. According to Alexander Romanov, a major manufacturer of medical equipment - Boston Scientific - has become interested in the technology and already signed a preliminary agreement on supporting the research.
As previously reported, for treatment of atrial fibrillation, the scientists of the Novosibirsk Medical Research Center have for the first time used a drug based on botulinum toxin. The poison in micro doses disconnects the part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates the work of the heart; over time, the heart resumes its normal work, and the effect of poison ceases. The technology is of interest to a large manufacturer of botulinum toxin, Allergan. The Irish company will conduct research based on the results of Novosibirsk scientists to produce Botox for cardiology purposes.


Author: Vera Ivanova


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