Missouri State scientists test new device for pain management

A team of scientists and researchers at Springfield, Mo..-based Jordan Valley Innovation Center and  Missouri State are testing a device that could develop into a nonopioid pain relief treatment, according to KY 3.

The device is called gammacore and is an noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator that helps blocks pain signals to the brain. Gammacore  already has been cleared by the FDA and awaits further trials. Prior to this device, patients were unable to receive this type of pain treatment without invasive surgery.

"The opioid epidemic is totally out of control, so we have to find alternative strategies for giving people other options basically to mitigate their pain," Paul Durham, MD, director of cell biology and the center for biomedical and life sciences at Missouri State University, told KY 3.

Dr. Durham also indicated the team's research found the device works just as well as an opioid prescription.

"Instead of getting multiple dosages of an opiate, we can send them home with this device, and then they can manage their pain in a nonpharmaceutical way and a nonaddictive way," Dr. Durham told KY 3.

More articles on opioids:

New York Medicaid patients may have been overprescribed opioids, state audit finds
ERs see spike in meth-related hospitalizations
Vermont hospital's needle-exchange program offers addiction treatment, too

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