What is Bioelectronic medicine?
Bioelectronic medicine merges molecular medicine, neuro-science, engineering, and computing to develop devices to diagnose and treat diseases, and represents a potential revolution in disease management. The discipline arose from discoveries of mechanisms for neural control of biological processes that underlie disease, and development of technologies to therapeutically modulate those specific neural circuits using electrons in place of drugs. A bioelectronic medical device uses precise electrical impulses and are used to activate systemic responses for the treatment of certain chronic pain syndromes.
“Bioelectronic medicine differs from traditional neuromodulation therapies by addressing the underlying pathophysiology to provide a potential cure for the disease versus simply masking the symptoms of disease,” explained David B. Phillips, M.D, President of ReBuilder Medical, Inc. A bioelectronic medicine company that is dedicated to treating patients with chronic peripheral neuropathy.
Why is the ReBuilder new and different?
The ReBuilder targets brain regions involved in pain processing and organs that support the immune system, unlike traditional therapies for neuropathy that target only the nerves. The ReBuilder is also nonsurgical, targeting central brain areas through stimulation of cranial nerves via the spinal cord. Prior to FDA clearance, the device underwent a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial that included 104 patients aged 50-83 with peripheral nerve pain disorders, measuring the effects of the ReBuilder compared to on several pain aspects including worse pain and the pain-frequency-severity-duration composite score. It also measured patients’ over all symptom improvement based on the Symptom Response Scale. The company’s sub-analysis of neuropathy subjects showed before ReBuilder treatment, 70 percent of patients failed to improve with four medications trialed. However, patients treated with the ReBuilder had an 95 percent improvement in global symptoms with no serious adverse events, and minimal to no side effects.
“The ReBuilder treats the nerve pain associated with peripheral neuropathy in patients ages 50 – 83,” the company spokesperson commented. “The ReBuilder works by sending gentle electrical impulses into cranial nerve bundles located in the spine. This stimulation targets brain areas involved in processing pain and aids in the reduction of functional pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.”
ReBuilder is unique: it is not a common TENS machine. Many forms of chronic pain that is unrelieved by conventional drugs or other treatments are caused by global inflammation of the nerves, and thus they need support from the immune system. This new understanding is what makes the ReBuilder so vastly superior to other forms of treatment.
ReBuilder Medical’s unique approach to bioelectronic medicine aims to return the body to its natural “set point” by using peripheral nerve stimulation to restore homeostasis. It does so through targeted electrical pulses thru the vagus and spinal nerves to trigger the inflammatory reflex, which regulates and restores balance to the immune system. The vagus nerve also innervates the spleen, which is also responsible for responding to infection and inflammation. Activating the inflammatory reflex alters the phenotype of inflammatory cells in the spleen, reducing the amount of circulating cytokines and dampening systemic inflammation.