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Big Growth Opportunities in Neurostimulation

As the aging population demographic grows with healthcare costs, there is a need for companies to develop technologies that are more effective and less expensive than drugs. This is especially the case in the field of neurostimulation, which presents a big growth opportunity for device companies. In a study released today by Scientia Advisors (Cambridge, MA and Palo Alto, CA), the firm estimated growth in the neurostimulation market at 16% since 2007.

It projects growth rates of 14âEUR"23% for certain technologies in this area through 2012. According to Harry Glorikian, managing partner at Scientia, the firm expects that as devices begin to show more safety and efficacy, doctors will recommend implants over drugs (or their use in conjunction with drugs) to their patients. The biggest opportunities in neurostimulation should come through small devices that are more user friendly with longer battery life and better feedback mechanisms, according to the study. Scientia expects the fastest growth to occur in three key areas: 1. Deep Brain Stimulation. This technology treats 6% of the 6 million U.S. patients who have disorders such as Parkinson's, tremors, and dystonia. Emerging treatments include epilepsy, depression, and muscular disorders. 2. Spinal Cord Stimulation. This method treats chronic pain. Scientia estimates that when this technology is used with conventional drug therapy, pain is decreased by 50%. 3. Sacral Nerve Stimulation. Scientia cites this technology as a last resort treatment for serious bladder or fecal incontinence. It estimates that 13 million people in the United States have severe incontinence. In the past 12 years, nearly 50,000 patients have been treated with sacral nerve stimulation worldwide.

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