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Neuroprosthetics for SCI Bladder Management: The Argument for Direct Bladder Stimulation | Abstract
International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9096

Abstract

Neuroprosthetics for SCI Bladder Management: The Argument for Direct Bladder Stimulation

James S. Walter, John Wheeler, Larissa Bresler, Scott Sayers and R. Sanjay Singh

Implantable neuroprosthetic systems are an important area of practice and research in urinary care for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). These devices need to manage three lower urinary tract conditions: urethral sphincter contractions during bladder contractions, an underactive bladder producing poor voiding responses, and neurogenic detrusor overactivity causing urinary incontinence. Two neuroprosthetic approaches have addressed these conditions: sacral anterior root stimulation (SARS) and direct bladder wall stimulation (DBWS). The SARS approach is commercialized for SCI bladder management as the Brindley-Finetech Bladder Control System and is available in Europe. Limitations of this device include invasive surgery and the need for rhizotomy of sacral dorsal (sensory) nerve roots. The DBWS implants produced daily voiding in many SCI individuals, however, clinical use was discontinued primarily because of technical concerns with stimulators and electrodes as well as some cases of poor voiding responses and side effects. These limitations are reviewed as well as efforts to return DBWS to clinical investigations using Permaloc® Systems (Synapse Biomedical Inc., Oberlin OH). This new neuroprosthetic platform includes mapping and intramuscular electrodes as well as multilead cables and new stimulator devices.

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