Publications by authors named "Olga Khazen"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Can dogs and cats really help our spinal cord stimulation patients?

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 Sep 22;208:106831. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: Pet ownership has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality in several aspects of health but has not been studied in chronic pain patients. We evaluate whether subjects who underwent spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and own a pet have improved outcomes compared to non-pet owners.

Methods: After obtaining IRB approval, we re-contacted 38 subjects who underwent SCS surgery with preoperative and 1-year postoperative data on Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Pain Catastrophizing scale (PCS). We examined influence of pets and pet ownership-specific behaviors on improvement in SCS outcomes.

Results: Patients included 24 males/14 females with a mean age of 59.9 ± 11.5 years. At mean follow-up of 12.2 months (range 10-14), there were improvements in NRS, ODI, BDI, PCS and MPQ. Twenty subjects owned pets and 18 did not; all believed pet ownership could improve health. Pet owners improved more on NRS-right now (p = 0.05) and BDI (p = 0.05), and were more satisfied with SCS (p = 0.04). No significant improvement was seen in ODI, MPQ, or PCS. However, PCS did improve in pet owners who exercised their pet (PCS-total, p < 0.01; PCS-helplessness, p < 0.01; PCS-rumination, p = 0.05; PCS-magnification, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: We provide preliminary evidence that pet ownership is associated with improved pain, depression and SCS satisfaction. Exercising with a pet also appears to be beneficial in limiting pain catastrophizing. Pets show promise as a novel means to improve patient SCS outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106831DOI Listing
September 2021

Age as an Independent Predictor of Adult Spinal Cord Stimulation Pain Outcomes.

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 2021 Jul 19:1-7. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA.

Introduction: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an efficacious chronic pain treatment most commonly used in middle-aged patients. Results from previous studies that investigated SCS' effects in older patient populations have been equivocal. We examine whether SCS outcomes correlate with age.

Methods: We retrospectively examined prospectively collected outcomes from 189 patients who underwent SCS at Albany Medical Center between 2012 and 2020. The patients completed the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. The mean percent change in each outcome was determined and compared via a regression analysis to determine relationships between patient age and each respective outcome metrics. Demographics were compared between patients aged under 65 versus those aged 65 and older via χ2 tests.

Results: All subjects demonstrated the expected improvement on NRS, BDI, PCS, and MPQ from baseline to 1-year follow-up, with several demonstrating statistically significant changes: NRS-worst pain (18.66%, p < 0.001), NRS-least pain (26.9%, p < 0.001), NRS-average pain (26.9%, p < 0.01), NRS-current pain (26.4%, p < 0.001), ODI (19.6%, p < 0.001), PCS (29.8%, p < 0.001), and MPQ (29.4%, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between patients aged under 65 versus those aged 65 and older based on lead type (p = 0.454). Six patients (3.1%) had lead migration, one of whom was 65 or older. Regression analysis revealed improvements in MPQ-sensory and MPQ-affective scores as age increased (p < 0.001, R2 = 0.09; p = 0.046, R2 = 0.05, respectively). Age did not correlate with NRS, ODI, BDI, or PCS. Diagnosis, spinal level of SCS, and lead type were not found to influence any respective outcome measure based on covariate analysis.

Conclusion: This study represents the largest study where age was correlated to specific pain, depression, and disability outcomes following SCS. We provide evidence that SCS outcomes are equivalent, or better, in older patients following SCS. Based on these findings, SCS is a viable option for treatment of chronic pain in elderly patient populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000517426DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of Outcomes of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Low Back Pain and Psoas Measurements Based on Size of Iliopsoas Muscles.

Neuromodulation 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.

Introduction: Patients experience variable long-term improvement in chronic back pain despite successful spinal cord stimulation (SCS) trials. Iliopsoas (IP) size has been shown to differ between patients with low back pain and healthy controls. In this study, we examine whether IP muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) is associated with SCS outcomes.

Materials And Methods: We examined patients for whom we had lumbar MRIs 6.3 years prior to SCS and had baseline and one-year outcome data. Percent change from baseline to one year was calculated for Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). Correlations between IP muscle CSA, ratio of iliopsoas muscle size to the vertebral body area (P/VBA), and the ratio of iliopsoas muscle size to BMI (P/BMI) were examined. Sex differences were considered.

Results: A total of 73 subjects were included in this study including 30 females and 43 males. Males had significantly larger IP (males 15.70 ± 0.58, females 9.72 ± 0.43; p < 0.001), P/VBA (males 1.00 ± 0.04, females 0.76 ± 0.03, p < 0.001) and P/BMI ratio (males 0.51 ± 0.02, females 0.32 ± 0.01; p < 0.001) than females. In females, P/VBA predicted NRS worst pain scores (β = 0.82, p = 0.004, r = 0.55) and BDI (β = 0.59, p = 0.02, r = 0.24). In males, P/BMI was a significant predictor of BDI outcomes scores (β = 0.45, p = 0.03, r = 0.16). Males who had more muscle mass measured by iliopsoas size had more depression as measured using BDI (p = 0.03, r = 0.61). Females with less muscle mass measured by P/VBA also experienced more depression (p = 0.02, r = 0.74).

Conclusions: Our study showed that psoas measurements correlated with various pain outcomes specifically. P/VBA was most predictive in females and P/BMI in males. Depression correlated with P/BMI, reinforcing the complex relationship between depression and constant chronic pain. Tertile analyses further showed a relationship between iliopsoas CSA and depression in males and females. We provide preliminary data of sex-specific psoas measurements as a risk factor for worse SCS outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13375DOI Listing
February 2021

Treatment Strategies for Generator Pocket Pain.

Pain Med 2021 06;22(6):1305-1311

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA.

Objective: Generator site pain is a relatively common phenomenon in patients undergoing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that complicates management and effective pain relief. This pain may be managed conservatively, with repositioning of the battery and, in some cases, with explant. Here we explore our experience with management of generator site pain ("pocket pain") in a large single-center study.

Methods: All SCS permanent implants and implantable pulse generator (IPG) placements over 9 years were reviewed. Of 785 cases, we identified 43 patients with pocket pain (5.5%). Demographics and treatments of the pocket pain cohort were analyzed.

Results: The mean age (± SEM) of the pocket pain cohort was 46.86 ± 1.06, and there were 10/33 males/females. Females were overrepresented in pocket pain cohort (76.7%) when compared with the total SCS cohort (59.0%) (X2 = 5.93, P = 0.015). Diagnosis included failed back surgery syndrome (51.2%), complex regional pain syndrome (23.3%), and chronic neuropathic pain (25.5%). No patients improved with conservative therapy. All patients either went on to revision (n = 23) or explant (n = 20). Time from initial surgery to development of pocket pain was 7.5 months (range: 0.3-88) and from pocket pain to revision surgery was 4.5 months (range: 0.4-26). In addition, significantly more pocket pain patients (65.1%) had workers' compensation (WC) insurance compared with patients without pocket pain (24.9%) (X2 = 33.3, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In our institutional experience, pocket pain was inadequately managed with conservative treatments. Being female and having SCS filed under WC increased risk of pocket pain. Future work will explore the nuances in device placement based on body shape and manual activity responsibilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnab007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185558PMC
June 2021

Neuromodulation for Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Single-Institution Experience With a Collaborative Team.

Neurosurgery 2021 03;88(4):819-827

Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York.

Background: Secondary to the complex care, involved specialty providers, and various etiologies, chronic pelvic pain patients do not receive holistic care.

Objective: To compare our general and neuromodulation cohorts based on referrals, diagnosis, and therapy and describe our neuromodulation patients.

Methods: A multidisciplinary team was established at our center. The intake coordinator assessed demographics and facilitated care of enrolled patients. Outcomes were compared using minimal clinical important difference of current Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) between patients with neuropathic pain who received neuromodulation and those who did not. The neuromodulation cohort completed outcome metrics at baseline and recent follow-up, including NRS score (best, worst, and current), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory, and Pain Catastrophizing Scale.

Results: Over 7 yr, 233 patients were referred to our consortium and 153 were enrolled. A total of 55 patients had neuropathic pain and 44 of those were managed medically. Eleven underwent neuromodulation. A total of 45.5% patients of the neuromodulation cohort were classified as responders by minimal clinically important difference compared to 26.6% responders in the control cohort at most recent follow-up (median 25 and 33 mo, respectively). Outcome measures revealed improvement in NRS at worst (P = .007) and best (P = .025), ODI (P = .014), and Pain Catastrophizing Scale Rumination (P = .043).

Conclusion: Eleven percent of patients were offered neuromodulation. There were more responders in the neuromodulation cohort than the conservatively managed neuropathic pain cohort. Neuromodulation patients showed significant improvement at 29 mo in NRS best and worst pain, disability, and rumination. We share our algorithm for patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7956019PMC
March 2021

Pain and Interoceptive Awareness Outcomes of Chronic Pain Patients With Spinal Cord Stimulation.

Neuromodulation 2020 Nov 15. Epub 2020 Nov 15.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.

Objectives: Meditation has been shown to improve outcomes for chronic pain by increasing patients' awareness of their own bodies. Some patients have an innate ability to leverage their mind-body connection, and this interoceptive awareness may aid them in garnering pain relief. We explored whether spinal cord stimulation (SCS) patients with greater innate awareness had better outcomes.

Materials And Methods: We contacted 30 thoracic SCS patients with baseline and postoperative pain, psychological, and disability outcomes to complete the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) survey. MAIA distinguishes between beneficial and maladaptive aspects of the perception of body sensations via six positive subscales (noticing, attention regulation, emotional awareness, self-regulation, body listening, and trusting) and two negative subscales (not distracting, not worrying). MAIA subscales and positive/negative groups were correlated with percentage change in Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ).

Results: Patients included 14 males/16 females with a mean age of 58. At a mean follow-up of 14.13 months (range 6-26), NRS, ODI, BDI, PCS, and MPQ showed improvements. Positive traits correlated with improvements in pain (MAIA-self regulation with NRS-worst [p = 0.018], NRS-least [p = 0.042], NRS-average [p = 0.006], NRS-current [p = 0.001]; MAIA-body listening with MPQ-total [p = 0.016] and MPQ-sensory [p = 0.026]). Improvement in PCS-total was associated with higher scores in noticing (p = 0.002), attention regulation (p = 0.017), emotional awareness (p = 0.039), and trusting (p = 0.047). PCS-rumination correlated with MAIA-positive total (p = 0.012). In contrast, better attention regulation signified less improvement in ODI (p = 0.043) and MPQ affective (p = 0.026).

Conclusions: Higher interoceptive awareness in SCS patients correlated with greater improvement following the procedure, particularly with regards to pain relief and pain catastrophizing. These findings suggest that patients with better mind-body connections may achieve greater pain relief following SCS in this patient population, thereby aiding providers in determining who may benefit from this intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13318DOI Listing
November 2020

Correlation Between Aspects of Perceived Patient Loneliness and Spinal Cord Stimulation Outcomes.

Neuromodulation 2021 Jan 29;24(1):150-155. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.

Objectives: Loneliness as a whole has been characterized as a health-related risk factor and is associated with worse outcomes after cardiac procedures. Evidence suggests that chronic pain patients are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely. We examined the relationship between different aspects of loneliness and one-year postoperative outcomes after spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain.

Materials And Methods: We contacted 69 patients with thoracic SCS who had participated in our prospective outcomes database with one-year follow-up to complete the validated, abbreviated UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLA-3). We examined responses on question 9 of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), question 12 of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and UCLA-3 due to their relevance to different aspects of loneliness. We conducted regression analyses to determine the relationship between aspects of loneliness and pain outcomes.

Results: We identified that loss of interest in people, companionship, and feeling excluded were associated with pain outcomes. Loss of interest in people was associated with improvement in pain (NRS worst p = 0.021, r = 0.32, NRS least p = 0.004, r = 0.4; NRS right now p = 0.016, r = 0.33). Companionship and feeling excluded were also associated with pain. We examined the interface between depression and total loneliness and found that while both were related to each other, depression was not associated with pain outcomes.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates an association between loss of interest in people, companionship, and feeling excluded and worse postoperative pain outcomes after receiving SCS. It identifies aspects of loneliness as important factors to consider when predicting the outcomes of SCS therapy for chronic pain control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13299DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of First-Line Ziconotide Intrathecal Drug Therapy for Neuropathic Pain on Disability, Emotional Well-Being, and Pain Catastrophizing.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 20;145:e340-e347. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Previous studies have shown decreased pain scores with ziconotide as a first-line agent for intrathecal drug therapy (IDT). Subset analysis suggests that patients with neuropathic pain have greater improvement. We prospectively examine the role of first-line ziconotide IDT on the tridimensional pain experience in ziconotide IDT-naive patients with neuropathic pain.

Methods: We included patients who underwent a successful ziconotide trial and were scheduled for standard-of-care IDT pump placement. Scores were collected at baseline and latest follow-up for the following measures: Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory, and Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Numeric rating scale (NRS) scores were also collected at each follow-up visit to monitor patients' pain levels and to guide ziconotide dose titration. Responders were identified as patients who had a previously established minimum clinically important difference of a ≥1.2-point reduction in NRS current scores.

Results: Eleven of 14 patients completed long-term follow-up. There were 7 responders based on NRS minimum clinically important difference. At a mean (±standard error of the mean) follow-up of 10.91 ± 0.70 months, SF-36 emotional well-being (P = 0.04), SF-36 pain (P = 0.02), and ODI (P = 0.03) significantly improved for the entire cohort and in responders (SF-36 emotional well-being, P = 0.01; SF-36 pain, P = 0.04; ODI, P = 0.02). PCS-Rumination (P = 0.02), PCS-Helplessness (P = 0.02), and PCS-Total (P = 0.003) scores improved significantly for responders only.

Conclusions: We show that ziconotide IDT improves pain as well as emotional components and function. Our study adds prospective evidence to the literature on IDT for neuropathic pain, specifically its role in improving disability, emotional well-being, and catastrophizing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.079DOI Listing
January 2021

Sex-specific effects of subthalamic nucleus stimulation on pain in Parkinson's disease.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 9:1-8. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Departments of1Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics.

Objective: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is known to reduce motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). The effects of DBS on various nonmotor symptoms often differ from patient to patient. The factors that determine whether or not a patient will respond to treatment have not been elucidated. Here, the authors evaluated sex differences in pain relief after DBS for PD.

Methods: The authors prospectively evaluated 20 patients preoperatively and postoperatively after bilateral STN DBS with the validated numeric rating scale (NRS), Revised Oswestry Disability Index for low-back pain (RODI), and King's Parkinson's Disease Pain Scale (KPDPS) and assessed the impact of sex as a biological variable.

Results: The cohort consisted of 6 female and 14 male patients with a mean duration of 11.8 ± 2.0 months since DBS surgery. Females were significantly older (p = 0.02). Covariate analysis, however, showed no effect of age, stimulation settings, or other confounding variables. KPDPS total scores statistically significantly improved only among males (p < 0.001). Males improved more than females in musculoskeletal and chronic subsets of the KPDPS (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively). RODI scores significantly improved in males but not in females (p = 0.03 and p = 0.30, respectively). Regarding the NRS score, the improvements seen in both sexes in NRS were not significant.

Conclusions: Although it is well recognized that pain complaints in PD are different between men and women, this study is unique in that it examines the sex-specific DBS effects on this symptom. Considering sex as a biological variable may have important implications for DBS pain outcome studies moving forward.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.JNS201126DOI Listing
October 2020

Efficacy of Simultaneous Usage of Spinal Cord Stimulation and Intrathecal Therapy for Nonmalignant Chronic Neuropathic Pain.

World Neurosurg 2020 11 1;143:e442-e449. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA; Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Some patients with chronic pain and implanted spinal cord stimulators or intrathecal (IT) pumps fail to obtain significant pain relief. The use of dual modality treatment with both therapies is understudied. This study evaluated comprehensive outcomes in this patient population and reported outcomes primarily using IT ziconotide.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 11 patients with chronic pain treated with both spinal cord stimulation and IT therapy. When a primary treatment failed to achieve significant pain relief, a secondary device was trialed and implanted. Pain severity (measured by a numeric rating scale) was assessed by the change from baseline to after the first and second intervention. In a subset of patients (n = 6), quality-of-life metrics were also assessed. Outcome measures were analyzed closest to the 1-year follow-up date after implantation of the first modality and then at the most recent follow-up after implantation of the second modality.

Results: Spinal cord stimulation leads were percutaneous (n = 2) or paddles (n = 9) and commonly covered T8-10. IT medication included ziconotide (n = 8), baclofen (n = 1), hydromorphone (n = 1), and morphine/clonidine (n = 1). There was a mean of 19.64 ± 3.17 months between primary and secondary intervention. There was a significant improvement in pain severity from baseline to implantation of the second modality (P = 0.032) at a mean follow-up of 50.18 ± 11.83 months.

Conclusions: Dual modality therapy is a potential treatment option in patients who have lost efficacy with a single neuromodulation modality. Further study is required to identify potential responders and nonresponders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.07.187DOI Listing
November 2020

Effect of Directional Deep Brain Stimulation on Sensory Thresholds in Parkinson's Disease.

Front Hum Neurosci 2020 9;14:217. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, United States.

Objective: Previous studies showed that deep brain stimulation (DBS) relieves pain symptoms in Parkinson disease (PD) patients when programmed for motor-symptom relief. One factor involved in pain processing is sensory perception of stimuli. With the advent of directional leads, we explore whether directional DBS affects quantitative sensory testing (QST) metrics acutely.

Methods: PD patients with subthalamic (STN) DBS and directional leads were tested in 5 settings (DBS-OFF, DBS-ON with omnidirectional stimulation, and DBS-ON) for each of three directional segments of contact used for clinical programming. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III) assessed patient's motor skills at time of study visit at clinical contact and at contact which produced optimal sensory threshold (defined by the greatest tolerance to mechanical stimuli). Correlation analyses were performed between stimulation parameters [amplitude, frequency, pulse width (PW), total electrical energy delivered (TEED)] and outcome metrics.

Results: Sensory thresholds were obtained in nine patients. Directional stimulation did not significantly alter patient perceptions of sensory stimulus [cold pain ( = 0.69), warm pain ( = 0.99), Von frey fibers ( = 0.09), pin-prick ( = 0.88), vibration ( = 0.40), pressure ( = 0.98)]. With correlation analysis, increasing PW at the posterior contact increased pin prick and vibration sensitivity ( < 0.001). Additionally, an increase in TEED caused a decrease in sensitivity to warm detection when using the anterior ( = 0.04), lateral ( = 0.02), and medial contacts ( = 0.03), and also caused a decrease in sensitivity to cold detection when using the medial contact ( = 0.03). UPDRS-III remained stable during testing.

Conclusion: Motor benefit can be acutely maintained at directional contacts, whereas directional stimulation can modulate thermal and mechanical sensitivity. Further investigation will determine whether these changes are maintained chronically or can be improved with optimized programming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.00217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296062PMC
June 2020

Correlations Between Family History of Psychiatric Illnesses and Outcomes of Spinal Cord Stimulation.

Neuromodulation 2020 Jul 5;23(5):667-672. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, USA.

Objectives: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a well-established procedure for chronic neuropathic pain. Research has established patients with personal psychiatric history do not fare as well as their correspondents following SCS surgery. We explored whether a documented psychiatric family history (PFH) correlated with worse outcomes following SCS surgery.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our single-center, prospectively collected database of patients who received permanent SCS implants over the past eight years. Subjects were separated into those with documented PFH and those without. Subjects completed validated scales at preoperative, 6 ± 2 postoperative, and 12 ± 3 months postoperative visits. The percent change in scores from preoperative to postoperative timepoints was compared between subjects with PFH vs. controls.

Results: SCS subjects reporting a PFH demonstrated significantly worse 6-month outcomes on Pain Catastrophizing Scale-rumination subscale (p = 0.02), numeric rating scale (NRS) scores on "pain at its least" (p = 0.04) and NRS "pain right now" (p = 0.02). This group also endorsed greater disability as measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) throughout the follow-up period (p = 0.04 at 6 ± 2 months, p = 0.001 at 12 ± 3 months).

Conclusions: Subjects with PFH may experience less improvement in disability following SCS as compared to subjects without PFH. They may take longer to achieve the same outcomes, including pain relief and decrease in pain rumination. Our findings show that improvements in the PFH cohort are equivalent to that of the no PFH cohort on all measures except ODI at 12-month follow-up. Thus obtaining a detailed PFH prior to performing SCS is important in order to implement pre-operative coping training for PFH patients, rather than exclusion from SCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13162DOI Listing
July 2020

Craniofacial Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: Analysis of a Single Institution Series.

Neuromodulation 2020 Aug 13;23(6):805-811. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.

Objective: Objective real-world experience with peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is limited. Furthermore, the lack of robust outcome metrics, long-term follow-up and data comparing responders and nonresponders limit the refinement of selection criteria to better identify patients likely to benefit from PNS.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 22 patients with craniofacial pain treated with PNS, and responders were classified as having ≥50% postoperative improvement in the numeric rating scale (NRS). In a subset of patients (n = 11), detailed prospective outcomes metrics were obtained preoperatively and postoperatively, including NRS, Beck Depression Index (BDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ).

Results: About 59.1% (13 of 22) of subjects were classified as responders at a mean follow-up of 37.5 ± 5.27 months. Diagnoses included migraine (n = 6), occipital neuralgia (n = 9), trigeminal neuropathic pain (TNP; n = 6), and central poststroke pain (n = 1). Within the TNP subgroup, responders were more likely to have undergone two or more trigeminal neuralgia procedures prior to PNS (p < 0.05). In the 11 patients with comprehensive preoperative and postoperative outcome data, we noted significant improvement in NRS (p = 0.0005), BDI (p = 0.04), PCS (p = 0.01), as well as components of PCS (helplessness and magnification, p = 0.02) and MPQ (affective, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: The present study adds to the PNS literature by providing long-term data and multiple outcome metrics in a subset of patients. We suggest that BDI, PCS, and MPQ may provide more insight into meaningful response over time. Evaluating functional and quality of life outcomes in patients with craniofacial pain may be more informative than assessing benefit solely based on pain intensity and responder rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13145DOI Listing
August 2020

Diversity in Neuromodulators: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go.

Neuromodulation 2020 02;23(2):145-149

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ner.13114DOI Listing
February 2020
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