PoNS, Myndmove and NMES


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About PoNS Therapy™

PoNS™ (short for Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator) is an innovative, non-surgical medical device that gently stimulates the surface of the tongue, exciting the neural network flowing to the brain. This neural activity is believed to enable neuroplasticity, which may restore lost function. In conjunction with targeted therapeutic activities, the PoNS™ has the potential to restore:

  • Balance in individuals with chronic balance deficit due to a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury or concussion.
  • Gait in individuals with gait deficit due to mild to moderate symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Approximately 74% of the TBI patients who completed the 14 weeks of PoNS Therapy™ in the Long-Term Treatment Trial experienced significant improvement in their balance¹. Patients also showed meaningful improvements in their
gait and walking endurance².

¹Helius Medical Technologies. Data on File. 2019 Post Hoc Analysis – Long Term Treatment Trial – Responder rate – Pharma Data Associates ²Tyler M, et al. Arch Res Rehabil Clin Transl. 2019; 1(3-4):10026.

In a study of 20 patients with multiple sclerosis, it was shown using the PoNS™ device in combination with physical therapy over 14 weeks led to a significant improvement in gait, as compared to physical therapy alone.  DGI Scores increased, on average, by 7.95 points for those receiving PoNS™ and Physical Therapy versus a gain of only 3.45 points for those receiving PT alone after 14-week treatment3.  

³Tyler ME, Kaczmarek KA, Rust KL, Subbotin AM, Skinner KL, Danilov YP. Non-invasive neuromodulation to improve gait in chronic multiple sclerosis: a randomized double-blind controlled pilot trial. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2014;11:79. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-11-79.


PoNS Therapy™ Overview

PoNS Therapy™ is a comprehensive 14-week program that combines in-clinic and in-home use of the PoNS™ device guided by a Certified PoNS™ Trainer.

Following your initial consultations, you will participate in a series of assessments to set a baseline, so you and your Certified PoNS™ Trainer can measure your progress throughout PoNS Therapy™.  Assessments may evaluate functions related to balance, gait, walking speed, dexterity, strength and mobility, as well as cognitive measures, sleep quality and headache incidence.  

Weeks One and Two: In-Clinic Appointments

For the first two weeks of treatment, you will work with your Certified PoNS™ Trainer one-on-one. Your Trainer will design a PoNS Therapy™ program tailored to your individual needs. Therapeutic activities with PoNS™ may include:

  • Balance training
  • Gait training
  • Breathing and awareness 
  • Other neuro-rehabilitative exercises

Weeks Three to Fourteen: In-Home Training Sessions

During weeks three to fourteen, you will continue with your customized program at home and schedule weekly clinic visits. Your Certified PoNS™ Trainer will monitor your progress and make further adjustments to your program as needed. 

  • Additional progress assessments are completed after weeks four and eight.
  • Upon completion of the fourteen-week PoNS Therapy™, you will undergo a final, comprehensive assessment and review your overall progress with your Certified PoNS™ Trainer.

The PoNS Therapy™ Approach

PoNS Therapy™ uses neuromodulation, the modification of nerve activity through delivery of a targeted stimulus. This may promote neuroplasticity – or the ability of the brain to make adaptive changes related to the structure and function of the nervous system. PoNS Therapy™ provides an innovative and effective therapy combining mild stimulation of the tongue with targeted therapeutic activities, which may create a neuroplastic effect that helps to improve balance and gait. 

More About Neuroplasticity: 

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s incredible ability to change. Over a lifetime, one’s brain constantly reorganizes itself to form new neural connections in response to changing needs. PoNS Therapy™ leverages this important healing process.

Injury or disease can damage or disrupt the connections in the brain. By supporting the brain’s ability to rebuild connections, it may be possible for the brain to compensate for the damage caused by injury or disease. While this process typically happens over a long period of time, it may be accelerated by neuromodulation techniques that utilize non-surgical devices, such as PoNS™.

How do I get started with PoNS Therapy™?

FAQs

Thousands of Canadians live with persistent symptoms resulting from a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis diagnosis. These individuals may notice a significant negative impact on their functional status, capacity to return to work and quality of life.

Can I use PoNS™ on my own?

PoNS Therapy™ is only offered at Authorized PoNS Therapy™ Clinics.  These clinics are selected based on their experience treating neurologic symptoms such as balance and gait deficits.  A Certified PoNS™ Trainer works with each patient according to their own specific needs and deficits during PoNS Therapy™.

How much does the PoNS Therapy™ cost?

PoNS Therapy™ is not currently covered by government insurance programs.   PoNS Therapy™ may be covered by personal insurance depending on individual plans.  Contact a clinic to ask about PoNS™ and the pricing and payment options available.

How long do patients undergo PoNS™ Therapy?

The PoNS Therapy™ is a comprehensive 14-week treatment program. During PoNS Therapy™, a Certified PoNS™ Trainer works with each patient using targeted therapeutic activities focusing on balance and gait.

Are there any PoNS™ device contraindications or precautions?

The PoNS™ device delivers electrical stimulation directly to the surface of the tongue. Precautions for use are similar to those for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrical stimulation SHOULD NOT be used: if there is an active or suspected malignant tumor, in areas of recent bleeding or open wounds, or in areas that lack normal sensation. PoNS™ has not been tested on, and thus should not be used, by individuals under the age of 18 or who are pregnant. PoNS™ should not be used in patients sensitive to nickel, gold, or copper.

Use with caution

Electrical stimulation should only be used after seeking professional medical advice, and with caution in patients with any of the following:

  • Implanted electronic devices, including cardiac pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, deep brain stimulators, vagal nerve stimulators, sacral nerve stimulators, and cochlear implants
  • Metal in the mouth (e.g. piercings, braces, retainers, or other orthodontic appliance)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy 

Who is the PoNS Therapy™ right for?

The PoNS™ device is intended for use as a short-term treatment (14 weeks) of: 

  • Chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (mmTBI) and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy. 
  • Gait deficit due to mild and moderate symptoms from MS and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy.

It is indicated for individuals between 18 and 65 years of age. Set up a free consultation with us now to determine if PoNS™ is right for you.

PoNS Therapy™ Mechanism of Action


Book a free phone call with a team member

Learn more about PoNS Therapy™ at ponstherapy.ca

MyndMove™

MyndMove is an 8-channel Functional Electrical Stimulation device for the treatment of patients with upper extremity paralysis following stroke or spinal cord injury (SCI). This therapy combines Physiotherapist expertise with patient participation for the rehabilitation of voluntary hand and arm function. “MyndMove is the first complete system to provide FES therapy for the full arm with the ability to execute reaching, grasping and fine motor control of the hand, for example pinching.” For more information, please visit http://www.myndtec.com

Who can benefit from MyndMove?

  • Patients with upper-limb paralysis resulting from stroke or SCI (C3-C7)
  • Both recent and long-term injuries have the potential to improve their motor function

What are the benefits of MyndMove?

  • Maintain or increase arm and hand range of motion
  • Prevent disuse atrophy
  • Increase local blood circulation
  • Reduce muscle spasms
  • Re-educate muscle movement

What does MyndMove therapy at Neurocore consist of?

  • Patients enroll in MyndMove therapy by subscribing to a minimum of 20 therapy sessions
  • Typical therapy sessions are 1 hour in length
  • Electrodes are placed on the patient’s skin over the muscles to be stimulated
  • Patients are asked to actively attempt the desired movements (e.g. reach and grasp an object)
  • A MyndMove trained Registered Physiotherapist will guide the timing and quality of the patient’s movements
  • The MyndMove device delivers FES protocols to elicit the movements

What are MyndMove Stimulation Protocols?

  • Pre-programmed protocols designed to stimulate specific muscles in different sequences to create a natural movement
  • Examples of movements you may attempt during a MyndMove therapy session include:
    • Holding a cup
    • Bringing your hand to your mouth
    • Reaching to the side
    • Reaching forward
    • Picking up and holding everyday objects

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)

An NMES device involves electrodes placed over specific muscle groups to help stimulate movement and possibly sensation of an area depending on the extent of an impairment.  NMES promotes muscle firing by activating it and is integrated into Physiotherapy sessions. NMES may be applied during daily activities to improve functional upper or lower limb movements such as lifting a wrist, reaching, standing and walking.

What are the benefits of NMES?

  • Managing pain
  • Preventing joint stiffness
  • Reducing the degree of a subluxed shoulder
  • Stimulating lifting foot against gravity while walking
  • Maintaining or gaining joint range of motion
  • Augmenting muscle strength and performance
  • Managing spasticity [one type of involuntary muscle activity] and associated pain
  • Preventing deep venous thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Stabilizing the hip, knee and ankle for standing and transferring from one seat to another

Under what circumstances can NMES be applied? 

  • Stroke 
  • Brain Injury
  • Spina Bifida
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Peripheral Nerve Injury
  • Post-fracture stiffness
  • Post-surgical muscle atrophy & weakness

Can I use NMES at home?

Should your therapist assess that you are responding well to treatment and would benefit from more frequent NMES, they will discuss options for you to purchase a home unit.

Detailed practice and instructions will be provided to ensure you are safe and confident in using the home unit to achieve optimal results.

We are also able to advise whether you will benefit from other FES-related device such as the Bioness or WalkAide for drop foot and can help you set up appointments with vendors who supply these products.