Spinal cord stimulation provides optimal chronic pain relief
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center researchers indicates that patients dealing with chronic pain can reduce their emotional response to the pain through spinal cord stimulation. The team states that their findings provide insights into the role of the brain’s emotional networks in relieving chronic pain. The results are published in the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface.
In accordance to Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the Center for Neuromodulation, prinicipal investigator, “Our initial study provides insights into the role of the brain’s emotional networks in relieving chronic pain. We are the first to show that therapeutic spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in certain areas of the brain in those with chronic pain." "Being able to modulate the connections between the brain areas involved in emotions and those linked to sensations may be an important mechanism involved in pain relief linked to spinal cord stimulation.”
The current study investigated 10 patients who were living with severe chronic leg pain and who were implanted with a spinal cord stimulator to reduce their pain. This research builds off previous studies showed that the concept of the neuromatrix theory of pain, in which pain perception varies according to cognitive, emotional and sensory influences.
“By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we mapped the areas of the brain involved in pain perception and modulation. If we can understand neural networks implicated in the pathophysiology of pain, then we can develop new therapies to manage chronic persistent pain,” told first author Dr. Milind Deogaonkar, an Ohio State neurosurgeon who specializes in neuromodulation.