Neuromodulation

Understanding the Basics

Neuromodulation is the term for the process that neurotransmitters in the nervous system use to regulate neurons. In this system, a single neuron will use different transmitters to connect several neurons, which is much different from synaptic transmission. Synaptic transmission uses one neuron to influence another partner. With neuromodulation, it becomes far easier to affect larger groups of neurons.

How does neuromodulation affect the body?

Neuromodulation can change the output of various bodily systems when they act on the neurons in the body. This can affect how the body feels and what it does. Let's look at some of the areas of the body that it can positively affect.

Three of the most well-known neuromodulators include:

  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Noradrenalin

The dopamine system has several pathways in the body, and it acts on dopamine receptors. When the dopamine system fails, it can cause a number of conditions in the body. One of the most prevalent is Parkinson's disease. While it is not the entire cause of the disease, it is partially responsible. Taking certain types of drugs, such as cocaine, can slow or stop the reuptake of dopamine. Through neuromodulation, and the addition of the right medications, it can be possible to manipulate the dopamine system slightly and elevate the body's production levels.

The serotonin system in the central nervous system actually only has about 1% of the serotonin in the body. The rest is in the peripheral nervous system, which can be in the gut wall and other areas of the body. It helps to regulate vascular tone. The noradrenalin system has 1,500 neurons along each side of the brain. When active, the system plays an important role in the brain and the release of noradrenaline and the adrenergic receptors. Some of the other areas affected by neuromodulation include endorphins, octopamine, and dynorphins.

Neuromodulation Therapies on the Rise

While the field is relatively new, and there is still a lot to understand about neuromodulation, it is becoming quite important in a number of different therapies. Therapies are able to target specific areas of the brain or the spinal cord because of the way the neurotransmitters work, and it's easy to reverse the process in case the doctors see that it isn't working or that it might be causing issues with the patient.

Neuromodulation therapies are popular today because they provide the following:

  • Improves life quality of patients
  • Alternative to long-term drug treatment, which could be causing other issues in their body
  • The therapy does not have side effects

Neuromodulation therapy makes it easier to deliver the various necessary signals for therapy without resorting to medicines and invasive procedures. As the knowledge around the field continues to grow, the therapies and techniques available are getting better and more efficient.

Speak with a Sports Neurology expert!

As the founder of Vernon B. Williams, MD, Inc., I have been in the neurology field for two decades. My neurology expertise has allowed me to serve as a sport concussion expert witness for a variety of defense and plaintiff medical cases. I would be happy to review your case during an evaluation.

If you wish to seek my help with a legal matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.