Director of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s palliative medicine Tom Smith, explains the effects of neuromodulation, giving an example of a typical patient – a person suffering from high intensity pain, which on the scale from 1-10, is classified as 9. The pain is spread up and down the right side of patient’s body, followed by chills, then burning sensations, itching and stabbing. By using neuromodulation, doctors can relieve these symptoms by applying two electrodes to the patient’s skin and running the electric stimulus through them for about half an hour. As soon as 10 seconds into the treatment, a patient will again feel close to normal.
Tom Smith is also an oncology professor at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is frequently dealing with high intensity pain in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. He is full of praises for this method which, in his words, eradicates pain by rebooting the patient’s system, like pressing Ctrl-alt-delete on a PC would.
Neuromodulation has amassed considerable amount of proponents, including the director of Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute - Michael Caterina, and has received support from Lerner Family Fund for Pain Research, established by Theodore N. and Annette M. Lerner Family Foundation.
In experience of Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, leader of Lerner Family Foundation, adequate pain management is incredibly important, especially considering the long-term challenges that are frequently associated with the disease. With that goal in mind, Hopkins staff and faculty are researching pain across different specialties.
Michael Caterina points out that the pain is a common problem, as every Johns Hopkins Medicine department has patients affected by it. Johns Hopkins clinic researchers and basic scientists, with the help of Lerner Family Fund, will primarily focus on pain management techniques, especially neuromodulation and analyzing the way it works. Neuromodulation is regarded as a potent pain relief alternative to opioid medications, with no adverse side effects.
Neuromodulation is based on for centuries old foundational concept, known even to ancient Romans and Greeks – that pain can be temporarily relieved by a simple jolt of electricity. It is now known that people in Central America have been using products that contained capsaicin for thousands of years, with a purpose to attain chemical neuromodulation. It has led to modern pain relief inventions that involved development of ways wires could be implanted alongside the spinal cord and electrodes placed deep in the brain. In addition to being very invasive, it is also an awfully expensive method of pain treatment that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient and it can be used for one person only. Smith pointed out how they really needed a new pain relief strategy that is inexpensive, reproducible, scalable, and above all, simple.
Following this line of thought, Smith has started working with Calmare Therapy, also known as Scrambler Therapy, which is a superficial form of neuromodulation. Thanks to the Lerner Family Fund, scientists and clinicians from Johns Hopkins will be able to gather new knowledge about this pain relief method that already proved to be highly efficient. They will research why it is more effective for some patients and less for others and also how it can be improved for even better results.
Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute scientists are using sophisticated, new mouse models to probe neuronal activity and learn how Calmare Scrambler Therapy affects behavior of the sensory nervous system. The goal of the research is to provide a detailed understanding about specific neurons that are responsible for pain suppression, either through increase or decrease of their activity. It will allow for more effective neuromodulation treatments, tailored for different pain conditions, as well as for adequate adjustments to changes in patient’s response to neuromodulation.
Scrambler Therapy has shown to have great application in palliative care and pain management in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, various cancers and lastly, a form of multiple sclerosis that affects spinal cord – neuromyelitis optica.
Johns Hopkins Institute research aims to determine in a greatest detail as possible, in which situations and diseases will Calmare Scrambler Therapy help and in which it won’t be effective. It is thus focused on researching what exactly triggers the pain, what impulses are being created in the neurons and which pathways are sending those signals.
We provide Calmare Scrambler Therapy that successfully treats pain in the following conditions: Chemotherapy induced neuropathy (CIPN), back pain, sciatica, post-surgical neuropathic pain, phantom limb syndrome, postherpetic neuralgia, intractable cancer pain, brachial plexus pain, CRPS (RSD), post-surgical nerve lesion neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy and pudendal neuropathy.
If you are suffering from any of the above chronic pain conditions, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a consultation.