From Torpedo Fish to HF10: The Evolution of Neuromodulation

Author: Sean Li

The International Association on the Study of Pain describes pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.1 Pain that does not resolve 3 to 6 months after the initial onset is considered chronic. In the 1600s, the human nervous system was theorized by René Descartes as a series of delicate threads in which a bell is activated by an external stimulus.2 The gate theory of pain describes a mechanism in which activation of larger A? sensory fibers may close off the gate that prevents pain signals transmitted on smaller A? and C fibers. This theory laid the foundation for modern neuromodulation, which alters nerve activity through the delivery of electrical stimulation or chemical agents to targeted sites of the body in order to normalize, or modulate, nerve function.

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