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Neurotrophic Factor Infusion System for the Treatment of Pain

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012306D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-29

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Todd K. Whitehurst: INVENTOR [+3]

Abstract

An implantable system infuses neurotrophic factors, such as glial-cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and delivers electrical stimulation which may be applied together, concurrently or asynchronously, to provide immediate and long-term relief of chronic pain. In particular, the stimulation provides immediate paresthesia and the neurotrophic factor can stop the progression of long-term damage to neural tissue, as well as facilitate neural tissue repair.

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Neurotrophic Factor Infusion System

for the Treatment of Pain

Background & Summary

Debilitating chronic pain is a socio-economic burden that afflicts between 70-90 million Americans, in conjunction with headache (24 million), backache (23 million), arthritis (40 million), and millions more with other pathologies, diseases, and injuries.� Debilitating chronic pain costs Americans over $50 billion annually, including $900 million for over-the-counter analgesics, and billions more in lost production costs.

Chronic pain has multiple causes and manifestations.� Pain can usually be linked to causes such as injury or diseases but can also be idiopathic, i.e, having no diagnosable origin.� Pain may be characterized simplistically in the� following types: (1) nociceptive (2) neuropathic (3) psychogenic and (4) mixed.

Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue irritation, impending injury or actual injury to the tissue or cells.� With nociceptive pain, the perception of pain is specific, e.g., hot or sharp.� Nociceptors are pain receptors in the affected area, which activate and transmit signals via the peripheral nerves, through the spinal cord and to the brain.

Neuropathic pain results from a malfunction in the nervous system, for example, in the peripheral nerves or in the central nervous system.� Neuropathic pain is often triggered by injury, although the injury may not necessarily involve the nervous system.� The pain may persist for years, even when the damaged tissues have apparently healed.

Psychogenic pain occurs when there is no physiological explanation.� It is universally agreed, however, that a psychogenic factor often plays a role in the perceived intensity of pain that also have other underlying causes.� It is rare, however, that pain is exclusively psychogenic.�

In many instances, the pain appears to be caused by a complex interaction of nociceptive and neuropathic factors.� An initial nervous system dysfunction or injury may trigger the neural release of inflammatory mediators and subsequent neurogenic inflammation.� For example, migraine headaches probably represent a mixture of neuropathic and nociceptive pain.� Myofascial pain is probably secondary to nociceptive input from the muscles, but abnormal muscle activity may be the result of neuropathic conditions.� Chronic pain, including chronic myofascial pain, may cause the development of ongoing perception of pain within the central nervous system that are independent of signals from the peripheral nerves.� This phenomenon is called the centralization or encephalization of pain.

A multi-disciplinary approach for treating chronic pain is gaining increased favor.� Such approach includes psychological rehabilita...