Monthly Archives: May 2013

CES and the treatment of pain

In the last decade of the 20th century, several well controlled, double blind studies sought to discover what, if anything CES treatment could do to alleviate the sometimes intractable pain of fibromyalgia. It was found that Patients given CES treatment reported the same reduction in tender point pain and self-rated overall pain level that they reported when treated with multiple medications, but without any of the negative side effects or great financial outlay.

Another study found a 29% reduction in the pain of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis following four weeks of daily CES treatment. Serendipitously, it was also found that they experienced a 40% reduction in their fatigue score, a 45% reduction in self-reported sensory deficits, a 50% reduction in their MS related vision problems and a 53% reduction in problems with spasticity.

Other studies have found CES clinically effective in reducing pain in spinal chord injury patients, in patients suffering from full body reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and in general dentistry.

CES effective in treating pain related stress

Several scientific studies have shown that CES, in treating pain related stress, has been effective in treating many different types of pain. In 1989, 23 chronic pain patients who had experienced intractable pain for more than 18 months were treated with CES for 20 minutes a day for two weeks. It was found that initially their serotonin and norepinephrine levels were significantly lower than those of normal controls, and that these were elevated significantly following CES treatment. That change was accompanied by a significant improvement in subjective pain response in 44% of the patients, with no other treatment than CES.

There have been several other studies in which CES was used successfully to treat headaches from tension headache to migraines. In migraine headaches, it was found that in the weeks following CES treatment, the patients suffered fewer migraine episodes, and when these did occur, the pain was much less intense than previously. Tension headaches responded readily to CES treatment.

World events can increase the level of pain in chronic pain patients

More dramatically, following the terrorists’ bombing of New York skyscrapers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., it was found that the level of pain in chronic pain patients being treated in three widely dispersed sites in the U.S. increased 17% in male patients and 47% in female patients when the bombing occurred between pain clinic visits. Subsequent visits to the same pain clinics showed that there was a lag in pain response to treatment following that stressful event, with men improving only 3% on subsequent treatment visits and women still suffering 34% more pain on subsequent treatment visits than they did prior to the stressful event. (The authors noted that females are known to respond more dramatically to stress related pain, such as in the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than do males.)

CES helps to sleep – Insomnia Case 1

Device: 100 Hz, 2 mS, 0.4 – 1.3 mA, electrodes from the forehead to mastoids

For this single blind study, 28 male heroin addicts, between 18 and 60 years old, undergoing methadone detoxification were selected on the basis of having severe anxiety as measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, difficulties in sleeping, willingness to participate in the study for at least 2 weeks in a locked ward, and agreement not to take any tranquilizers or hypnotics while in the study. This was a self medicated withdrawal study in which methadone was given as requested by the patients as needed to control their withdrawal symptoms. The pts were then randomly divided into a CES treatment group (N = 14) who were taking 20 – 60 mg of methadone/day, a placebo group (N = 7) taking 30 to 40 mg/day, and a waiting in line control group (N = 7) taking 25 – 40 mg/day. CES or sham CES was given for 10 days, Monday through Friday, 30 minutes per day. After 6 – 8 CES treatments, methadone intake was 0 in 9 pts, with another 1 at 0 after 10 treatments. 3 were taking 10 – 15 mg after the 10 treatments. The other active pt dropped out of the study after the first treatment. The pts reported feeling restful and having a general feeling of well-being, their sleep was good and undisturbed after 3 treatments. The Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale scores also came down significantly in the CES group with 7 pts dropping from a mean of 31 before CES to 20 after 10 days (normal is 8 – 18), while the others showed a 25 – 50% reduction. Sham CES pts showed an insignificant change in the mean TMAS scores from 29 to 27. The methadone intake did not change in 4 sham CES pts, and only dropped 5 – 10 mg in the other 3. These pts were anxious and depressed, and complained of difficulty sleeping and somatic problems. The 7 controls also did not do well, TMAS scores increased in 2 cases, was the same in 1, and only decreased 1 – 2 points after 10 days in the remainder. The methadone intake was the same in 3 controls, and decreased in the other 4 after 10 days. These pts were anxious, had difficulty sleeping. HAS scores were also diminished in the CES group but not the placebo or controls. It was noted that with a higher current, the pt felt uncomfortable, but there were no skin burns.

Gomez, E. and Mikhail, A. R. Treatment of methadone withdrawal with cerebral electrotherapy (electrosleep). British Journal of Psychiatry (London). 134:111 113, 1979. Also in Gomez, E. and Mikhail, A. R Treatment of methadone withdrawal with cerebral electrotherapy (electrosleep). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Detroit, 1974.

More CES Research –

CES helps to sleep – Insomnia Case 2

Device: 30 – 40 Hz, 2 mS, 2 mA, forehead to occipital fossa electrodes

20 hospitalized pts suffering from long-lasting insomnia with anxiety, obsessive and compulsive reactions, morphine and barbiturate addiction and involutional depression were given 2 – 4 CES treatments weekly for 2 – 3 hours a day for a total of 10 – 20 treatments. 5 of the 20 showed no improvement, 11 had sedative effects, and 4 had hypnotic effects. The 15 responders all had normal restoration of their sleep rhythm as measured by EEG. Parallel with the return to a normal sleep pattern, all the other psychiatric signs: anxiety, depression, agitation, delusions, abstinence syndrome, improved so that all these pts were able to leave the hospital. Follow-up has continued for 8 – 12 months after treatment and has revealed no relapse.

Also 9 children (aged 5 – 15 years) suffering from severe, long-lasting bronchial asthma, resistant to conventional treatment, including steroids, were given 3 – 24 (Av. 15) CES treatments once a week for 1 – 2 hours. The asthmatic attacks stopped completely in 3 children and 4 months later the children felt well without taking any drugs. 2 children showed objective improvement, no wheezes were found on examination and, the frequency and severity of wheezing spells were diminished. 1 child showed slight improvement, 2 did not respond at all. None suffered an asthmatic attack for 24 hours following CES. Placebo conditions did not cause any improvement. The authors concluded that it appears that CES may be an adjunct to the treatment of asthma in children. Because of the selection for trial of the most severe cases available to us, resistant to any other known treatment, even slight results are encouraging. It was also noted that no ill-effects were noted on prolonged and repeated observations in dogs and in humans.

Magora, F., Beller, A., Assael, M.I., Askenazi, A. Some aspects of electrical sleep and its therapeutic value. In Wageneder, F.M. and St. Schuy (Eds). Electrotherapeutic Sleep and Electroanaesthesia. Excerpta Medica Foundation, International Congress Series No. 136. Amsterdam, Pages 129-135, 1967.

More CES Research –