Researchers at the Center for Clinical Research, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are now enrolling patients for the next phase of a study to test a potential treatment for phantom limb pain and residual limb pain that involves electrical stimulation of the nerves that carry the pain signal to the brain. The treatment is drug-free, and both those people currently using and those not using prostheses may be eligible to enroll. The results of the clinical trial, “Treatment of Post-Amputation Pain with Peripheral Nerve Stimulation,” were published online August 15, 2013, in the journal Neuromodulation. According to the study, subjects who completed the feasibility study averaged between 70 and 80 percent pain relief.
This research effort is funded in part by a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. In the current study, men and women who have had a lower-limb amputation are treated with either a placebo or a device called Smartpatch™ made by SPR Therapuetics, Cleveland, Ohio, which uses a fine wire implanted through a small needle to provide mild electrical stimulation to the nerves in the thigh that carry pain signals.
For more information about this research and how to enroll in the study, visit www.amputeepainstudy.com