Phantom Limb Pain Treatment
Integrum has develop a new method to reduce phantom limb pain after an amputation using new innovative technology – We call it “Neuromotus”. The technology is under development and we are currently working with our collaborators to refine the product and related treatment.
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What is Neuromotus
Neuromotus is an electronic device intended as a tool for neuromuscular rehabilitation and pathological pain treatment caused by motor-impairment and/or amputation.
Neuromotus is a non-invasive device that captures, processes and decodes myoelectric signals to infer motor intention (limb movements). The decoded movements are then displayed in virtual or augmented reality providing real-time feedback to the user. Conventional and clinically available electromyography electrodes placed over the skin are used to capture muscular activity.
Neuromotus is a tool to promote motor execution of the affected limb. Depending on the patient’s condition, the physician/therapist can use it for neuromuscular rehabilitation and pathological pain treatment.
A recent single-group clinical trial has shown that Neuromotus reduced phantom limb pain by approximately 50% in chronic intractable sufferers. These patients had previously tried several clinically available treatments for an average of 10 years and experienced no relief. At the last treatment session with Neuromotus, improvements were still observable, which indicates that more treatment sessions might further reduce pain. Furthermore, the improvements achieved with Neuromotus were still observable six months after treatment.
Ortiz-Catalan et al., 2016, The Lancet, published online o 1 Dec, The Lancet
What is phantom limb pain?
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a common problem among amputees and can affect considerably the patients’ quality of life. Studies suggest that up to 80 percent of amputees develop PLP and one third of these are extremely bothered by it*.
Unfortunately, the conventional therapies for treating phantom limb pain (e.g. mirror therapy, motor imagery, TENS) fall short of successfully treating this condition. Integrum has therefore developed a new system for effectively treating Phantom Limb Pain: “Neuromotus”
*Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) / Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
80 % of amputees develop PLP
1/3 are extremelly bothered by it
How Neuromotus Helps
Neuromotus is a new system developed by Integrum that employs Augmented Reality and Machine Learning in a novel way to treat phantom limb pain. Surface electrodes are placed on the stump along with a marker to provide information on motion intention and virtual arm location, respectively.
Electrical muscle signals are sensed by the electrodes and decoded into arm movements by complex algorithms. The patient can see him/herself on a screen with a superimposed virtual arm, controlled using his/her own neural command in real time. The technology is currently under clinical validation with promising preliminary results that show a significant reduction of pain in patients for whom no other treatment worked previously.
A Case Study
The patient lost his arm 48 years ago, and since then had suffered from Phantom Limb Pain varying from moderate to unbearable. He was never entirely free of pain. By using the technology developed by Integrum, the patient pain was dramatically reduced. He now has periods where he is entirely free of pain, and he is no longer awakened by intense periods of pain at night.