Mechanisms and models of spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an established and cost-effective therapy for treating severe chronic pain. However, despite over 40 years of clinical practice and the development of novel electrode designs and treatment protocols, increases in clinical success, defined as the proportion of patients that experience 50% or greater self-reported pain relief, have stalled. An incomplete knowledge of the neural circuits and systems underlying chronic pain and the interaction of SCS with these circuits may underlie this plateau in clinical efficacy. This review summarizes prior work and identifies gaps in our knowledge regarding the neural circuits related to pain and SCS in the dorsal horn, supraspinal structures, and the Pain Matrix. In addition, this review discusses and critiques current experimental and computational models used to investigate and optimize SCS. Further research into the interactions between SCS and pain pathways in the nervous system using animal and computational models is a fruitful approach to improve this promising therapy.
Zhang, TC; Janik, JJ; Grill, WM
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