Chronic pain researchers say sound and electrical stimulation has treatment potential

Chronic pain might be treatable using a combination of sound and electrical stimulation. [Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota]

University of Minnesota researchers are using sound and electrical stimulation to treat chronic pain and other sensory disorders without pharmaceutical drugs.

The combination of sound and stimulation activates the brain’s somatosensory cortex, according to a study on guinea pigs published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. Also known as the tactile cortex, the somatosensory cortex is the part of the brain responsible for touch and pain sensation.

“Chronic pain is a huge issue for a lot of people, and for most, it’s not sufficiently treatable,” lead author Cory Gloeckner said in a news release. “Right now, one of the ways that we try to treat pain is opioids, and we all know that doesn’t work out well for many people. This, on the other hand, is a no…

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