Professor Bengt Linderoth, MD, PhD
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Pain

Bengt Linderoth is Professor em and faculty at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and former head of Functional Neurosurgery. Furthermore, he holds a position as Adjunct Professor of Physiology at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, USA and Honorary Professor at the University of Maastricht, NL.

Focused in Neurosurgery, Dr. Linderoth has spent over 30 years in full clinical service. The physiological research has been a special spin-off from this, and possible only with the assistance of doctoral students, post-doctorates, guest researchers and competent technical staff.

Dr Linderoth´ s recent and on-going research projects relate mostly to physiological mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation for pain and ischemic syndromes e.g. intractable angina pectoris, and for heart failure, but also to and for clinical studies e.g. on pharmacological enhancement of effects of neurostimulation and neurostimulation for colonic disorders. Other projects cover treatments for facial pain syndromes, deep-brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders and stereotactic cell implantations as a novel treatment in Alzheimer´s disease, as well as intraventricular infusion of PDGF in Parkinson´s disease. Dr Linderoth has published over 120 original papers on these subjects and more than 100 book chapters and reviews. He collaborates with research teams from several universities including Swedish Universities, the Technical University of Linköping, and Umeå University, Oklahoma University Center for Health Sciences, University of Maastricht NL, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore USA, and earlier as well with Helsinki University Finland, UZ University Brussels, Be and the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

At present Dr Linderoth is a consultant to Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St Jude/Abbott and Elekta AB. He gives frequent lectures on courses and congresses and clinical expert advices to clinicians especially in cases planned for neuromodulation procedures or with problems in connection with such techniques.

Tejas Sankar, MD
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

An Update on DBS for Psychiatric Conditions

Dr. Tejas Sankar is a Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgeon, Associate Professor (with tenure), and Research Director in the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He completed his medical degree at McGill University in 2003 then moved west to the University of Alberta to complete his neurosurgical residency training in 2010. During residency, Dr. Sankar completed a 2-year research fellowship at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Following residency, he completed a two-year clinical fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery under the supervision of Dr. Andres Lozano at the University of Toronto before returning to Edmonton as faculty in 2012.

Dr. Sankar’ s principal clinical interests are the neurosurgical management of patients with Parkinson ’s disease and other movement disorders using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). He currently serves at the Surgical Lead for the DBS program at the University of Alberta. He also has interests in the management of severe psychiatric illness and chronic pain using neuromodulation.

Dr. Sankar currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Functional Neurosurgery Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta. The lab currently focuses on the use of multimodal imaging and neurophysiological techniques in order to study the impact of brain stimulation on plasticity in the nervous system. Dr. Sankar has published 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 9 invited commentaries, and 4 book chapters, and has given over 70 invited presentations. Dr. Sankar serves on the Workgroup in Psychiatric Surgery of the American Association for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN). Dr. Sankar is currently an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences (CJNS), and serves as Vice President of the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation (CNSF).

Andrew Parrent, MD
Western University, London, Canada

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease Gait

Dr. Parrent received his B.Sc. from Brock University in St. Catharines and his MD from the University of Toronto in 1983. He completed a neurosurgery residency at Dalhousie University in Halifax and a two-year fellowship in Stereotaxic and Functional Neurosurgery at Toronto Hospital.

Dr. Parrent is Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Western University and Associate Scientist at Robart's Research Institute in London. He is conducting research in collaboration with Terri Peters of the Robart's Institute to establish a computer based image guided surgical planning system for neurosurgical procedures. He has also developed an interactive video CD for teaching surgical techniques to residents.

Dr. Parrent has contributed to many medical textbooks and has been published in numerous journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.

Ismael Seáñez, PhD
Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, Lausanne, Switzerland

Neuromodulation for Spinal Cord Injury

Ismael Seáñez received his MSc (2013) and PhD (2016) degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University with a focus in Rehabilitation Engineering. His doctoral thesis, working in Ferdinando A. Mussa-Ivaldi’s lab, focused on rehabilitation and brain plasticity of people with high-level spinal cord injuries using a non-invasive body-machine interface to control computers and wheelchairs. Ismael started a postdoc in the laboratory of Professor Gregoire Courtine at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in 2016. His current research interests include the use of brain-controlled neuromodulation of the spinal cord for rehabilitation after spinal cord injury in humans and non-human primates.

Andrey Sitnikov, MD
Federal Center of Treatment and Rehabilitation, Moscow, Russia

What Happened to DBS for Pain?

Dr. Sitnikov specialized in neurosurgery at the Sklifosovsky Research Institute in Moscow in 2001. Since 2007, Dr. Sitnikov has been employed at Federal Centre of Treatment and Rehabilitation of Ministry of Healthcare of Russian Federation (Moscow) as chief of the Neurosurgical department.

In 2009, Dr. Sitnikov received MD degree for his research in microvascular decompression for surgical treatment of hemi-facial spasm. In 2015, he organized the Russian Association of Functional Neurosurgeons collaborating with international societies and colleagues. The Association has hosted four International Congresses in Moscow from 2015 to 2018. In 2017, the Russian Association of Functional Neurosurgeons became recognized as an official branch of WSSFN in Russian Federation.

In 2016, Dr. Sitnikov was elected to represent Russia as a member of Post Graduate Education Committee (PGEC) of European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) and was elected in 2017 as a Board Director and Continental Vice-President of WSSFN (The World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery). Currently, Dr Sitnikov is an EANS board member under the section of Functional Neurosurgery and member of the Executive Committee of ESSFN (The European Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery).

Charles Arnold, PhD
Comox, Canada

Archeology in the Arctic

Charles (Chuck) Arnold (PhD, Archaeology) has spent much of his life and most of his career living and working in northern Canada. Born in Whitehorse, he received his doctorate in arctic archaeology from the University of Calgary in 1978. He taught archaeology and anthropology at the University of Toronto before moving to Yellowknife in 1982 to take up the position of Territorial Archaeologist with the Government of the Northwest Territories. In 1994, he became Director of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, the central museum and archives of the Northwest Territories, and remained in that position until 2010.

Chuck has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Alaska and throughout northern Canada. He has published in scholarly journals and in general interest publications, curated exhibits on northern themes and topics, and administered programs that support community and regional cultural projects.

Chuck currently lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a Fellow and Research Associate of the Arctic Institute of North America. He continues to participate in in a variety of culture and heritage projects in the North. .

Professor Line Jacques, MD
University of California, San Francisco, USA

Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation: it’s Place in Therapy

Dr. Jacques is the Director of Peripheral Nerve and Pain Surgery program at UCSF. Her clinical specialty interests are in the treatment of entrapment syndromes, peripheral nerve tumors, and reconstructive procedures of the peripheral nerves and brachial/lumbosacral plexus.

She also has over 2-decades of experience in the treatment of chronic refractory peripheral neuropathic pain. Early in Dr. Jacques neurosurgery training, she had performed neuromodulation research with Dr. Martinez at Notre Dame Hospital, where they investigated the efficacy of using SCS in the treatment of refractory angina. Dr. Martinez was considered to be one of the early pioneers in spinal cord stimulation and implantable drug delivery systems in Canada.

Dr. Jacques work includes the use of spinal cord stimulation in patients with failed back surgery syndrome, dorsal root ganglion stimulation for complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral vascular disease; occipital nerve stimulation for the treatment of migraines and peripheral nerve stimulation as well as implantable drug delivery systems for the treatment of nociceptive pain and movement disorders.

She has been involved in several international studies looking at the effectiveness of SCS in FBSS patients vs. CMM with Dr. Kumar, as well as the use of programming algorithms for optimizing back pain coverage using multi-column surgically implanted leads with Dr. Rigouard from France.

Dr. Jacques was recruited by the INESSS (Provincial body responsible for the efficacious use of health care spending in the Province of Quebec) in 2012 to review the current evidence for spinal cord stimulation and implantable drug delivery systems; so that new guidelines for patient access could be developed for the province of Quebec (published June 2013).

Professor Judy Illes, CM, PhD
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Ethics Response to Ethical Issues in DBS

Dr. Illes is Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics at UBC. She is Director of Neuroethics Canada, and faculty in the Centre for Brain Health and at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. She received her PhD in Hearing and Speech Sciences, and in Neuropsychology at Stanford University, and became one of the pioneers of the field of neuroethics formally established in early 2000.

Dr. Illes’ research, teaching and outreach initiatives are devoted to ethical, legal, social and policy challenges at the intersection of the brain sciences and biomedical ethics. She has made ground-breaking contributions to neuroethical thinking for neuroscience discovery and clinical translation specifically in the areas of neuromodulation, neuropsychiatry, neurodevelopment, and neurodegeneration, and more broadly to entrepreneurship and the commercialization of health care.

In addition to her primary appointment in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, Dr. Illes also holds associate appointments in Population and Public Health and in Journalism at UBC, and in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA. She is Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Ethics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Vice Chair of the CIHR’s Internal Advisory Board of the Institute on Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction.

She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 and appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2017. Her latest books a series on Developments in Neuroethics and Bioethics, features pain, global mental health, and do-it-yourself brain devices.

She writes frequently for the Vancouver Sun and Canada’s The Conversation, and hosts community outreach about challenging ethical problems involving biomedicine and the brain throughout BC and across the country.

Anuj Bhatia, MD, PhD
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Monitoring Outcomes of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Dr. Bhatia an Associate Professor at University of Toronto and Clinical Director, Acute and Chronic Pain Services at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). Dr. Bhatia is the Chair of the Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group of the Canadian Pain Society, Treasurer-elect of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society, and one of five voting members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Pain Medicine Specialty committee. His clinical and research interests include use of wearable technology and epidemiological tools for assessing outcomes of treatments for pain, fluoroscopy and ultrasound-guided procedures for chronic neuropathic, musculoskeletal, and cancer pain, and neuromodulation. Dr. Bhatia have published over 50 papers, 6 book chapters, and co-authored two books on ultrasound-guided interventional pain procedures. Dr. Bhatia is a member of the Editorial Board of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the European Journal of Pain, and Pain Medicine. He is an Examiner for certification examinations of the World Institute of Pain and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

Professor Zelma Kiss, MD, PhD
University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

The Ethics of Neuromodulation in Canada: Methods, Patents, Rationing

Zelma Kiss MD PhD is a clinician-scientist and Professor in the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences/Psychiatry and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She trained in neurosurgery and completed a PhD in neurophysiology at the University of Toronto in 1998, followed by post-doctoral training in Grenoble, France. Her research interests encompass the mechanisms of action of deep brain stimulation, somatosensory restoration with neural prostheses, electrophysiology, new neuromodulation therapies, including use of focused ultrasound, as well as ethical issues related to these technologies. Clinical expertise includes stereotactic radiosurgery and functional neurosurgery to treat movement disorders, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Kiss is the Medical Director of the Neuromodulation and MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Programs in Calgary. She is a Deputy Editor for the journal, Brain Stimulation, and on the editorial boards for the Journal of Neural Engineering and Neuromodulation.

Einar Ottestad, MD
Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: Evidence and Targets

Dr. Ottestad joined Stanford faculty in 2007 and became Director of the Acute Pain Service in 2009. As such, he manages acute, post-operative pain, acute-on-chronic inpatient pain consults, and cancer pain at Stanford Hospital. He is committed to the Stanford Pain Center’s multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach when treating pain clinic patients with chronic pain. In the outpatient pain clinic, Dr. Ottestad possesses expertise in advanced interventions such as intrathecal medications, spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, cryotherapy and cryoanalgesia, radiofrequency neuromodulation and ablation and ultrasound-guided procedures in general for the treatment of chronic pain. Ultrasound imaging allows accurate imaging of soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and nerves that are difficult to identify using only x-ray imaging or anatomic landmarks. This imaging is useful both diagnostically as well as therapeutically when specific, targeted treatment is needed in an area of pain.

Dr. Ottestad has written multiple book chapters and papers on pain management and has been an invited lecturer and instructor for over 60 national and international conferences in the last 8 years. He will become the President of World Academy of Pain Medicine Ultrasonography (WAPMU) in 2017. Dr. Ottestad is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, and is an also an instructor and board examiner for the World Institute of Pain and the World Academy of Pain Medicine Ultrasonography, with secondary international qualifications FIPP (Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice) and CIPS (Certification in Pain Medicine Sonology).

Professor Ivar Mendez, MD PhD
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada

How Telemedicine Can Facilitate Neuromodulation in the Far North

Dr. Ivar Mendez is the Fred H. Wigmore Professor and Provincial Head of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority.

As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, and remote presence robotic technology. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from a number of sources including the Canada National Centers of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada Foundation for Innovation. For the past decade, he has worked in the use of remote-presence robotic technology. His work in robotics has focused in rural and remote health care with particular emphasis in improving healthcare access to First Nation’s communities. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world and in 2013; he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices. Dr. Mendez has over 190 scientific publications and has given over 230 national and international lectures.

Dr. Mendez has received numerous awards including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medal Award in Surgery, the 2010 Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the Health Canada Award in 2011 for his contribution to the improvement of the health of Canadians and the Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence in 2016 for the use of remote presence robotic technology in the Canadian North.

Marie Krueger, MD
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

A Trial of DBS for Neuropathic Dental Pain

Dr. Marie Krüger studied medicine in Freiburg, Germany and received her MD from the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg in 2012. She finished her neurosurgical residency training in the Neurosurgical Department of the University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany in April 2018. During this time she spent several months in the Functional Department (Prof. V.A. Coenen) and decided to pursue a career in Functional Neurosurgery.

From June 2018 till June 2019 she completed a fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the Neurosurgical Department of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Prof. C.R. Honey). She has a special interest in directional leads and led two trials investigating their benefits and use for new indications. She will be presenting some of this work at the conference.

As of July 2019 she will be working in the Neurosurgical Department in St. Gallen, Switzerland, to practice functional neurosurgery.



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