Findings from a new study presented earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society validate the use of neurofeedback as pain therapy for patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). The therapy is based on patient modification of activity in the area of the brain that is known to contribute to the physical and emotional manifestations of pain. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Lead investigator Sarah Prinsloo, PhD, assistant professor of palliative rehabilitation and integrative medicine observed, “Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is very common in cancer patients and there is currently only one medication approved to treat it. This treatment is customized to the individual, and is relatively inexpensive, non-invasive and non-addictive.”
The study enrolled 71 patients with cancer at the Center who underwent chemotherapy. All subjects had completed treatment at least 3 months prior, and reported more than a 3 on the National Cancer Institute’s neuropathy rating scale. Patients were randomized to receive 20 sessions of neurofeedback training, or to a control group who did not receive treatment. The neurofeedback cohort were taught to modify their brainwave activity via electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback. 73% of this group reported improvements in their pain and quality of life.
Read a news story about the study here.