Studies of PAG/PVG stimulation for pain relief in humans

Nicholas Barbaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although electrical stimulation of human periaqueductal gray (PAG) has been employed for more than 15 years, a number of questions remains unanswered. These include the types of pain problems which are best treated using this modality, the optimal site for stimulation and whether the analgesia produced by stimulation of this region involves an opioid link. The latter two questions are more difficult to answer in human studies than in animal experiments. Furthermore, because the analgesic effects seen in animals are of immediate onset and are often short-lived while those in humans have a slower onset and last longer, it is not clear that all information gained in animal experiments applies to human analgesia studies. In spite of these difficulties, electrical stimulation of the PAG continues to be used for treatment of patients with severe, medically-refractory pain problems. A review of the existing literature suggests that long-term success can be obtained in 50-60% of patients. However, the criteria by which success is determined differ significantly among studies. Well-designed prospective studies are essential for a better understanding of analgesic mechanisms in humans and to improve success rates for this procedure. In order to better study this modality, strict attention must be given to the type and location of the pain, its response to opiates and other centrally acting analgesics, psychological variables and to electrode location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Volume77
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Periaqueductal Gray
Pain
Analgesics
Analgesia
Electric Stimulation
Opiate Alkaloids
Naphazoline
Intractable Pain
Opioid Analgesics
Electrodes
Prospective Studies
Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Studies of PAG/PVG stimulation for pain relief in humans. / Barbaro, Nicholas.

In: Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 77, 1988, p. 165-173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barbaro, Nicholas. / Studies of PAG/PVG stimulation for pain relief in humans. In: Progress in Brain Research. 1988 ; Vol. 77. pp. 165-173.
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