New status for neuromodulation peak body

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Australia and New Zealand’s peak professional body for the practice of neuromodulation has today announced its approved charity status and the appointment of a new president.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has awarded the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (NSANZ) charity status.

NSANZ is focused on the advancement of scientific development, awareness, education and the safe practice of neuromodulation, and patient advocacy.

Neuromodulation, also known as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS), is a minimally invasive and reversible therapy that may prove an effective, additional or alternative option for those who have tried, and failed, other pain management treatments.

It works by intercepting pain signals as they travel along nerve fibres through the spinal cord, before they reach the brain.

The NSANZ has also announced the appointment of a new president, Melbourne-based pain specialist and anaesthetist, Dr Nick Christelis.

“I am truly honoured to have been appointed President of NSANZ," said Dr Christelis.

“I am also delighted that NSANZ has been awarded charity status, which will allow us to perform three major functions – fund and promote further research in the neuromodulation field; educate doctors training in this medical field; and establish a neuromodulation device registry,” said Dr Christelis.

“Chronic pain is a significant health challenge for Australia. As a not-for-profit, we will strive for continuing improvement to patient outcomes, and to ease the significant economic impact of pain.

“I am genuinely excited at the prospect of further consolidating our organisation’s significant success to date, and continuing to strengthen our position as professional pain management industry leaders,” continued Dr Christelis.

“We are currently drafting policy documents and guidelines outlining standards for safe and effective neuromodulation practices, encompassing device-related education, training, implantation techniques and management.

“We are also planning to perform a local audit to determine the need for establishing a national neuromodulation device registry, which will be the first of its kind in Australia and New Zealand, similar to the national joint replacement registry,” added Dr Christelis.

Over three million Australians, including children and adolescents, are thought to be living with chronic pain. Each year, an estimated 50,000 spinal cord stimulators are implanted worldwide, mostly for persistent or worsened pain after spinal surgery, and the severe nerve pain condition, known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).