Can stimulating the brain treat chronic pain?
For the first time, researchers at the UNC School of Medicine showed they could target one brain region with a weak alternating current of electricity, enhance the naturally occurring brain rhythms of that region, and significantly decrease symptoms associated with chronic lower back pain. The results, published in the Journal of Pain and presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego this week, suggest that doctors could one day target parts of the brain with new noninvasive treatment strategies, such as transcranial alternating current stimulation, or tACS, which researchers used in this study to boost the naturally occurring brain waves they theorized were important for the treatment of chronic pain.
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