NeuRx DPS® Patient Conditions

Understanding How Diaphragm Pacing Technology Works

Diaphragm pacing technology like the NeuRx DPS® is ideal for patients who suffer from respiratory problems caused by poor diaphragmatic function. To understand how truly groundbreaking the NeuRx DPS® technology is, you must first understand the primary function of the diaphragm. The diaphragm, the main breathing muscle, is located below our lungs and is involved in the respiration process. As we breathe, our diaphragm rhythmically contracts in a continuous action that is usually involuntary. However, for patients whose diaphragm is not working properly, lung capacity is greatly reduced, and it can be impossible to breathe without reliance on mechanical ventilation.

The diaphragm can be strengthened. Diaphragm conditioning is one of the primary functions of the NeuRx DPS®. Diaphragm pacemakers can comfortably condition an out-of-use diaphragm to help a patient regain the ability to breathe without total reliance on mechanical ventilation. For this reason, the NeuRx DPS® can be a life-changing device for many who suffer from spinal cord injuries (SCI), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Treatment for Patients With Spinal Cord Injuries

NeuRx DPS® Provides Diaphragm Conditioning

There are two types of spinal cord injuries (SCI)—complete and incomplete. A complete SCI results in permanent damage to the affected spinal cord area, and an incomplete SCI results in partial damage. In most cases, the type and degree of paralysis are dependent on the area of the spine that is affected. Each area protects a different section of the spinal cord and has different recovery outcomes. Because of the range of possible injuries, not all high spinal cord injury patients experience the same challenges but most share a general difficulty with breathing naturally.

Many high-level SCI patients, as a result of their injury, are unable to breathe without reliance on a ventilator. Their diaphragm quickly becomes weakened due to lack of use, making them ideal candidates for the NeuRx DPS®. The stimulation provided by the NeuRx DPS® offers gentle, comfortable conditioning of the diaphragm. As the diaphragm becomes stronger, patients may regain the ability to breathe through their nose and mouth to some extent. In addition, many patients are able to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, their reliance on mechanical ventilation.

See NeuRx DPS® Outcomes for SCI Patients

Treatment for Patients With ALS

NeuRx DPS® Stimulates the Diaphragm

ALS is a disease that damages an individual’s nerves and their ability to signal the body’s muscles. As the disease progresses, phrenic nerves—nerves that are responsible for controlling our breathing—will not be able to pass messages from the brain to the diaphragm signaling it to function. When it is not used, the diaphragm weakens. Many patients will develop chronic hypoventilation or respiratory insufficiency.

ALS patients who have chronic hypoventilation and stimulatable diaphragms as demonstrated by either bilateral diaphragm contraction during a sniff test under fluoroscopy or evidence of responses to phrenic nerve stimulation during a conduction study are ideal candidates for the NeuRx DPS®. The NeuRx DPS® contains an External Pulse Generator (EPG) that sends small amounts of electricity through the electrodes to the patient’s diaphragm, causing it to contract. This gentle conditioning may make it easier and more comfortable for the patient to breathe.

See NeuRx DPS® Outcomes for ALS Patients

Learn More About Diaphragm Pacemaker Technology

Request Information Regarding the NeuRx DPS®

If you are a patient with a spinal cord injury or ALS, that has left your diaphragm weakened, you may be a good candidate for the NeuRx DPS®. Do not hesitate to contact our team and request more information regarding this technology and its potential impact on your quality of life.

Request More Information