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Papers of the Week

2019 Mar-Apr

Int J MS Care



Scrambler Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Central Neuropathic Pain in a Patient with Transverse Myelitis.


Mealy MA, Newsome SD, Kozachik SL, Levy M, Smith TJ
Int J MS Care. 2019 Mar-Apr; 21(2):76-80.
PMID: 31049038.


Central neuropathic pain is a severely disabling consequence of conditions that cause tissue damage in the central nervous system. It is often refractory to treatments commonly used for peripheral neuropathy. Scrambler therapy is an emerging noninvasive pain-modifying technique that uses transcutaneous electrical stimulation of nociceptive fibers with the intent of reorganizing maladaptive signaling pathways. It has been examined for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy with favorable safety and efficacy outcomes, but its application to central neuropathic pain has not been reported in transverse myelitis. We describe the use of Scrambler therapy in a patient with persistent central neuropathic pain due to transverse myelitis. The patient had tried multiple drugs for treatment of the pain, but they were not effective or caused adverse effects. After a course of Scrambler therapy, pain scores improved considerably more than what was reported with previous pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. This case supports further investigation of Scrambler therapy in multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, and other immune-mediated disorders that damage the central nervous system.