Healthcare company Abbott has partnered with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to gain better insights and drive the application of neurostimulation therapies.

The alliance will give NIH’s neuroscience research initiative BRAIN access to Abbott’s neuromodulation technologies, including directional deep brain stimulation (DBS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapy.

The technologies will be assessed for their use in chronic pain and progressive movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke neural engineering programme director Nick Langhals said: “The NIH is investigating the application of these devices for the treatment of a wide range of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions and chronic pain.

“The neuromodulation technologies provided by Abbott will help us determine the inner workings of the nervous system to help fill gaps in our current knowledge of the brain and provide opportunities for exploring how the brain interacts with the human body in patients with neurological conditions.”

More than 100 million people are affected by at least one of the known neurological diseases in the US. The number of cases is expected to grow by 2050.

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Launched in 2013, the Brain initiative is intended to better understand the functions of the brain via research and development of new applications for advanced technologies.

Abbott Neuromodulation vice-president Keith Boettiger said: “In addition to our own research efforts, including clinical and real-world studies, working together with world-class scientists at the NIH will help us further validate our neuromodulation therapies and explore new avenues where they may benefit patients affected by devastating neurological conditions.”

“The neuromodulation technologies provided by Abbott will help us determine the inner workings of the nervous system.”

The company’s neuromodulation portfolio comprises the Proclaim range to deliver spinal cord stimulation for treating chronic pain, and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation for nerve pain after surgery or injury and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Abbott developed a discreet, app-based and wireless system called Invisible Trial System for patients to assess SCS therapy.

Its Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) system is designed to send mild pulses of electricity to the brain for alleviating Parkinson’s and essential tremor symptoms.