Deep brain stimulation for pain
Oxford has pioneered the modern use of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of severe longstanding neuropathic pain. We have treated some 150 patients this way, the world's largest series of DBS for pain in the modern era.
One of our research aims is to identify a cerebral signature for pain perception. We are using both local field potential recordings taken through deep brain stimulation electrodes and external EEG-based systems.
Deep brain stimulation of the anterior cingulate cortex is a more recently developed target for treating pain, which is particularly useful when the pain is too widespread for the usual targets in the sensory thalamus and periaqueductal grey matter. The ACC is a large area compared to other DBS targets and in order to maximise benefit we would like to know how to choose the ideal location for an electrode within the ACC on an individual patient basis. We are using tractography to identify locations within the ACC that are associated with a more favourable outcome.
Copyright OFN Wednesday, 11 February, 2015.