Neuropathic pain conditions have had a long history of misdiagnosis, as they are complex, often dependent on multiple factors, and the result of causes that largely remain unclear.
However, research has recently shown that some neuropathic pain is the result of Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI), which cause peripheral nerve injuries. These peripheral nerve injuries boost levels of inflammatory factors, particularly tumor necroting factor (TNF), which contribute to the neuropathic pain.
Furthermore, neuropathic pain causes various neurobiological events such as unpleasant abnormal sensation (dysesthesia), an increased sensitivity to painful stimuli (hyperalgesia), and pain in response to stimuli that do not usually cause pain, i.e. allodynia.
Unlike acute pain that occurs with sudden injuries from accidents or sports, chronic neuropathic pain can develop slowly in response to nerve damage and increase over time.
Despite the growing scientific literature on neuropathic pain and its treatment, there is still a lot to be done to treat it. At Unique Access Medical, we are at the forefront of SCI patient care, as we persistently keep abreast with not only the latest developments in Epidural Stimulation, but in the treatment of neuropathic pain, too.
Discovery In Treating Neuropathic Pain
The great news is that in recent years, more extensive research on neuropathic pain has projected new targets that may potentially attenuate neuropathic pain in diverse models.
University of Buffalo (UB) researchers who previously discovered how chronic neuropathic pain arises in the brain, have now developed a treatment to block it. The findings of the research, conducted by scientists in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB are particularly crucial given the current national opioid epidemic, and the imminent need for new methods for treating chronic pain.
The studies have demonstrated a way to get to the root of chronic neuropathic pain in the brain in a minimally invasive technique. This goes against the previous notion that treatment at the level of the brain requires either brain surgery or a spinal tap.
The UB research teams have shown, for the first time, that effective pain relief model could be achieved by direct brain delivery, accomplished with a simple injection in the neck (outside of the brain and spinal cord) of an anti-TNF drug.
This is the first time that perispinal delivery of a drug has ever been demonstrated to provide rapid, sustained pain relief in an animal model. This new, minimally invasive procedure developed by the UB researchers utilizes delivery of an antibody that targets and blocks pain-causing TNF, specifically in the brain.
These discoveries have opened a world of possibilities for a safe and effective ways of calming and treating neuropathic pain, providing an improved quality of life for patients suffering from neuropathic pain and their loved ones who must bear witness to their suffering.
What UAM knows is that the next-generation spine treatment, Epidural Stimulation — which we have facilitated for over 70 worldwide SCI patients, many of whom deal with agonizing neuropathic pain — is an effective means for alleviating neuropathic pain.
To learn more on how Epidural Stimulation can help reduce neuropathic pain, please contact us and a Patient Representative will get back to you shortly.