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Patients sought for clinical study

Nov. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Dr. David Caraway is looking for patients in the area who have chronic lower limb pain and would like some relief.

Caraway, the medical director for the Center for Pain Relief at St. Mary's Medical Center, and his team are currently enrolling patients in the ACCURATE trial, a national clinical study to assess the safety and effectiveness of the Axium Neurostimulator System.

The system involves implanting a device that delivers electrical stimulation to the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), the branch of the spinal cord that serves as the pain traffic signal, which may help stop the pain signals from traveling to the brain.

Good prospects for the new technology are patients with chronic neuropathic lower limb pain caused by complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or nerve damage, "the kind of patients who have had pain at least six months from a wide variety of causes," Caraway said.

They're mostly looking at lower limb pain caused by nerve damage from a cause such as surgery on knee or foot, surgery for hernia or a variety of post-surgical pain syndromes. Amputees may benefit from the treatment as well, he said.

"Chronic pain exists in many, many people," Caraway said. "It's a public health problem and cost for society. Right now we're going through health care issues, and we need to find ways to deal with these."

There's a growing interest in this type of treatment for neuropathic pain, which may help patients who otherwise haven't been able to manage their pain effectively over the long-term, Caraway said.

"This has been available in Europe and Australia for a couple years, and data published about this and that looks very promising," he said. "We need to get data from the United States and show how it looks here."

European research indicates that at six months post-implant, average overall pain ratings were 58 percent lower than baseline. Pain reduction specific to the back, leg and foot regions were 57 percent, 70 percent and 89 percent, respectively. When stimulation was discontinued for a short time, pain returned to baseline levels, the study showed.

Researchers will compare the device's effectiveness with that of a spinal cord stimulation treatment that's already widely used across the country, Caraway said.

Caraway, who has been with St. Mary's about 12 years, has been involved on a national level in the field of neurostimulation, and is one of 25 physicians across the country who will be piloting the treatment.

Visit www.ACCURATEstudy.com or call 1-888-978-8397 to learn more about the Axium Neurostimulator System, the study and to see if you qualify.

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