A University of Minnesota Twin Cities-led team has found that electrical stimulation of the body combined with sound activates the brain’s somatosensory cortex, increasing the potential for using the technique to treat chronic pain and other sensory disorders.
Spinal cord stimulation is a minimally invasive FDA-approved treatment to manage chronic pain such as back and neck pain. The ability to accurately predict which patients will benefit from this treatment in the long term is unclear and currently relies on the subjective experience of the implanting physician. A study is the first to use machine-learning algorithms in the neuromodulation field to predict long-term patient response to spinal cord stimulation.
For patients receiving spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain, integration with an immersive virtual reality (VR) system – allowing patients to see as well as feel the effects of electrical stimulation on a virtual image of their own body – can enhance the pain-relieving effectiveness of SCS, reports a study in PAIN®, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.