EU funds for new tech solutions to combat phantom limb pain
 
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a frequent consequence of amputation, and it is notoriously difficult to treat. A new research project just begun aims to challenge the status-quo of PLP treatment. The project group will develop dedicated technological solutions that provide sensory feedback to patients which will restore the neuroplastic changes in the cortex and thereby control and alleviate pain. EPIONE is a consortium of 12 partners from Europe and the US involving clinical, industrial and academic institutions.

 

Phantom limb pain affects many amputees and the current treatment is inadequate

Amputation usually follows traumatic injuries or surgery as a result of e.g. vascular diseases, diabetes or tumors in cases where the loss of the limb is required for the survival of the patient.  The amputation is usually followed by the sensation that the lost body part is still present. In 50-80% of amputees neuropathic pain develops in the lost limb, which is also referred to as phantom limb pain (PLP). Throbbing, piercing and needles sensations are among the most commonly used descriptors of pain in amputees. Today, it is not completely understood why the pain occurs. Different factors may influence the occurrence and extent of phantom pain. Several studies have shown that most currently available treatments for PLP (pharmacological, surgical, anaesthetic, psychological and other) are ineffective and fail to consider the mechanisms that underlie PLP. 
 
EPIONE will address the bottlenecks to understanding PLP
The mechanisms underlying the painful perception of a missing body part are still unclear. The EPIONE project will investigate whether PLP can be explained by changes in the cortical map that follows amputation, and whether PLP can be quenched by restoring the cortical map.
 
EPIONE will deliver innovative solutions that will help translate research into solutions for patients. 
There are no dedicated medical technologies available on the market with the aim of providing sensory feedback to control and alleviate pain. EPIONE aims to build new technological systems for delivering invasive/non-invasive sensory feedback based
 


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