A New Study With CyberKnife Technology Shows Promise For Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia

According to a recent article from BioSpace, a study of Accuray’s CyberKnife radiosurgical system showed good results with the new technology. The CyberKnife system projects radiation beams from multiple angles and is considered less invasive than other radiosurgery techniques. The system was tested as a treatment for trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve that is located along the face and jaw. The disorder is characterized by sudden bouts of rapid, shocking pain along one side of the face. It can last from a few seconds to several minutes. An episode can be triggered by every day activities such as shaving, eating, talking, and brushing teeth. Even a gust of wind is enough to cause a reaction in some patients. The pain is notoriously severe and is often regarded as one of the worst forms of pain a person can experience. The cause is thought to be linked to a loss of myelin around the trigeminal nerve. It can occur after a stroke or due to myelin loss from multiple sclerosis. There are several medications and surgical procedures that can improve to condition. Trigeminal neuralgia is often linked with depression and patients live in fear of their next episode of pain. To learn more about this condition, click here.

The CyberKnife offers new hope to patients with the disorder. Some patients eventually are unable to benefit from typical pain medications after long term use, and pain medications can often come with unpleasant side effects. It appears that radiosurgery using the CyberKnife could replace pain medication in many patients. In the trial, 93.5% of patients achieved pain relief within three weeks following the completion of radiosurgery. Of that group, 76% maintained stable control of pain for three years following their first treatment. The rest of the patients achieved pain control after a second round of treatment. In addition, 78.9% of patients were both pain and medication free six months after the completion of treatment. Over 90% were eventually able to cease pain medication. Side effects of the treatment were minor. 18.1% eventually developed some sensory changes, but of this group 68% experienced the effect only after a second treatment.

Follow us