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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000061

AU - Young RF

AU - Kroening R

AU - Fulton W

AU - Feldman RA

AU - Chambi I

TI - Electrical stimulation of the brain in treatment of chronic pain. Experience over 5 years

AB - Forty-eight patients underwent electrical stimulation of the brain for treatment of chronic pain

between 1978 and 1983. Average pain duration prior to treatment was 4.5 years. Before selection for this

procedure patients underwent pain treatment in a multidisciplinary pain center, intensive psychological and

psychiatric evaluation, and assessment of pain responsiveness to intravenous administration of placebo,

morphine, and naloxone. A total of 71 electrodes were placed in the 48 patients at a variety of stimulating

targets, including the periaqueductal gray matter, periventricular gray matter, thalamus, and internal capsule.

Seventy-two percent of patients experienced complete or partial pain relief. In addition, 59% of patients

were able to discontinue narcotic usage. Twenty-five percent of patients returned to normal physical

activities and another 33% showed marked improvement in functional capacity. Follow-up periods ranged

from 2 to 60 months; with a mean follow-up period of 20 months. A variety of relatively minor

complications occurred, but no mortality or permanent sequelae were experienced. No patient's pain was

made worse as a result of electrical stimulation. Electrical stimulation of the brain offers a safe and relatively

effective method for the treatment of chronic pain in appropriately selected patients, who are unresponsive

to other forms of therapy

SO - Journal of Neurosurgery 1985;62:389-396