What New Treatments Are Available for Peripheral Neuropathy?
Since I published my book “Hope and Help for People Suffering From Neuropathy” there have been many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy. New knowledge in this field is exploding.
Our understanding of what causes neuropathy is progressing rapidly and many times the cause (and better chance of a cure) can now be determined. There is growing awareness that prescription medications can produce neuropathy. Combinations of drugs, known as poly-pharmacy, particularly in elderly patients who often have trouble metabolizing medications can cause neuropathy. The growth of non-invasive neuromodulation techniques has given us new tools to control pain in neuropathy without resorting to more drugs that might add to the poly-pharmacy burden. There are stimulation techniques available now that can block neuropathy pain at the spinal or even the brain level. They are true clinical advances in chronic pain relief. Probably the most exciting avenue of research in he field of neuropathy care is research that suggests it may be possible to stimulate growth factors in nerves and thus potentially promote re-growth and re-generation in damaged nerves. That is truly an exciting development in the field of neuropathy treatment.
Other research suggests that in patients suffering from long time neuropathy changes occur in the brain. These brain changes are called mal-adaptive plasticity and respond better to brain based therapies than traditional drugs, injections and even surgery. For example listening to specific tones played through specialized headphones can sometimes block pain signals from reaching the brain. The explosion in neuroscience research is truly good news for people suffering from neuropathy.