Sophisticated regional anesthesia techniques have experienced substantial growth throughout the past 5 years for acute and chronic pain management. The recognition that regional anesthesia leads to superior postoperative outcomes in acute pain management and to an increased understanding of the pathogenesis of chronic pain has led to increased use of continuous peripheral nerve catheters. Furthermore, the availability of new equipment and techniques specifically designed to facilitate effective catheter placement has increased interest and adoption of peripheral nerve catheters to manage painful conditions. This has become particularly relevant as the scope of ambulatory surgery continues to grow. To maximize success rates with continuous peripheral nerve catheters, clinicians must be intimately aware of the pertinent regional anatomy and technical issues surrounding placement and maintenance of continuous nerve blockade. The recent development of outpatient infusion systems and novel anesthetics has been exciting and is likely to lead to an increase in the use of continuous peripheral catheter techniques. The consistent recognition that these techniques dramatically increase patient satisfaction should dictate an increasing presence in the field of pain management throughout the next several years.
Publications by Year: 2005
If an individual can learn to directly control activation of localized regions within the brain, this approach might provide control over the neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate behavior and cognition and could potentially provide a different route for treating disease. Control over the endogenous pain modulatory system is a particularly important target because it could enable a unique mechanism for clinical control over pain. Here, we found that by using real-time functional MRI (rtfMRI) to guide training, subjects were able to learn to control activation in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), a region putatively involved in pain perception and regulation. When subjects deliberately induced increases or decreases in rACC fMRI activation, there was a corresponding change in the perception of pain caused by an applied noxious thermal stimulus. Control experiments demonstrated that this effect was not observed after similar training conducted without rtfMRI information, or using rtfMRI information derived from a different brain region, or sham rtfMRI information derived previously from a different subject. Chronic pain patients were also trained to control activation in rACC and reported decreases in the ongoing level of chronic pain after training. These findings show that individuals can gain voluntary control over activation in a specific brain region given appropriate training, that voluntary control over activation in rACC leads to control over pain perception, and that these effects were powerful enough to impact severe, chronic clinical pain.
If an individual can learn to directly control activation of localized regions within the brain, this approach might provide control over the neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate behavior and cognition and could potentially provide a different route for treating disease …