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Front Psychiatry


Case Report: Virtual Reality Neurofeedback Therapy as a Novel Modality for Sustained Analgesia in Centralized Pain Syndromes.


Neurofeedback (NFB) Therapy is a form of biofeedback, using the electroencephalogram (EEG) that has been in use since the 1970s, serving as a non-pharmacological intervention for epilepsy and psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, post-concussive syndrome, and now, centralized pain. Chronic pain can increase neuronal activity and eventually causes poor modulation of pain messages. With the emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) in acute pain management, and the contraindications of opioids in chronic pain, applying novel biotechnologies seems like the next frontier in multimodal pain management. In this study, the VR and NFB technologies were fused together (VR-NFB) and used as a novel treatment modality for a 55-year-old woman who suffered from chronic pain secondary to spondylolisthesis with cervical, thoracic, and lumbar disc herniations after a motor vehicle accident with comorbid depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and difficulty with activities of daily living, and inability to participate in physical therapy. Our case reports on the sustained analgesia achieved for 1 year after a trial of VR-NFB, and the usefulness of neuromodulation in centralized pain syndromes.