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Deep Brain Stimulation (Neurostimulation)

Deep brain stimulation, or brain stimulation, has been used for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome patients, but isn't seen as a usual therapy.

Brain stimulation can be given along any of your pain pathways which, for example, include the exterior of the brain membranes (the medical terminology for this is 'motor cortex stimulation with dural electrodes'), the areas of your brain that control pain (the medical terminology is 'deep brain stimulation') and near to nerves that have been injured (the medical terminology is 'peripheral nerve stimulators').

New research has comprised of using magnetic currents that are directed to the exterior part of the brain. The current name for this treatment is 'rTMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation'.

In a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, crossover, sham-controlled trial done by Hosomi, K. et al (2013), they "aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of 10 daily rTMS in Neuropathic Pain patients." In this trial, they discovered that:

"The real rTMS, compared with the sham, showed significant short-term improvements in VAS and SF-MPQ scores without a carry-over effect. PGIC scores were significantly better in real rTMS compared with sham during the period with daily rTMS. There were no significant cumulative improvements in VAS, SF-MPQ, and BDI. No serious adverse events were observed. Our findings demonstrate that daily high-frequency rTMS of M1 is tolerable and transiently provides modest pain relief in NP patients."

rTMS = Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
VAS = Visual Analogue Scale
SF-MPQ = Short Form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire 
PGIC = Patient Global Impression of Change scale
BDI = Beck Depression Inventory




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