Results of a randomized clinical trial led by Erika Petersen, M.D., of  the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) on use of a spinal cord stimulation system for patients with refractory painful diabetic neuropathy were published April 5 in JAMA Neurology.

Petersen, a neurosurgeon and professor in the Department of Neurosurgery in the College of Medicine, led the study that found that high-frequency (10kHz) spinal cord stimulation provided significant benefits for painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) patients who suffered for years with symptoms that are resistant to other treatments.

“The substantial pain relief and improved quality of life sustained over six months demonstrates that this therapy can safely and effectively treat this patient population,” Petersen said. “I’m grateful to my co-investigators and the patients who participated in this study, as the results will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of PDN patients.”

The study of the Senza System devised by Nevro Corp., a global medical device company based in California, is the largest randomized controlled study of spinal cord stimulation treatment conducted for PDN. It compared the high-frequency treatment delivered through the implantable device to conventional medical management for the condition in 216 patients in 18 centers in the United States, including academic centers like UAMS and community pain clinics.

Petersen’s study was supported by the UAMS Translational Research Institute, which is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The World Health Organization estimates that 422 million adults have diabetes worldwide. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common complication that presents as pain, numbness, burning or tingling. About 20 percent of patients with diabetes will develop PDN, a progressive, potentially debilitating chronic neuropathic condition.

Current PDN treatments include neuropathic pain medications with limited efficacy and high incidences of adverse effects.

This content was originally published here.