Wouldn't it be great if the brain could ignore chronic pain signals? Patients suffering from this condition would no longer have to go through the daily struggle of coping with it and researching new ways to alleviate some of the symptoms. BYU researchers are looking to find out if this is a possibility.
Using pain therapy treatment with Calmare, researchers are looking into if they can observe or measure actual change in the brain after patient has gone through with the therapy. If treatments are successful, a patient's brain will "no longerrecognize errant pain signals coming from a neuropathy or from an injury that has long since healed."
Some patients are seeing relief. Brock Roblin, who had idiopathic neuropathy in his feet, had been suffering from chronic pay for nearly four years, he told Deseret News. Eventually he decided to test out Calmare instead of pain medication. After several treatments, the burning sensation disappeared. He no longer needed pain medication for pain relief.
"I think the fooling the brain idea is a legitimate one, if it turns out that way," said Dr. David Busath, who is heading up the research at BYU, in an interview with Deseret News. "That we’re convincing the brain in one area that this other area shouldn’t be hyperactive after all.”
BYU researchers hope to observe what is actually happening inside the brain via MRI scans. Other studies have indicated that pain signals both increase and decrease blood flow in the brain, but there's something more.
Can the brain fool itself into ignoring signals for chronic pain? If it can, BYU researchers want to know if they can observe or measure actual changes in the brain after a patient has a pain therapy treatment with Calmare, the kind Jennifer McLean is now experiencing.