Radiation Therapy Helpful In Treating Painful MS Related Condition

Radiation therapy may be an effective alternative treatment for people suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, a painful condition that is also associated with people suffering from multiple sclerosis. This is according to a study made by researchers from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore. The results of the study will be presented further at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology on October 31.

Trigeminal neuralgia in a very painful condition that is caused by a dysfunction of the trigeminal nerve which is one of the nerves responsible for sensations felt in the face. It is characterized by bouts of intense pain that can occur in any part of the face. This condition also has a significantly increased incidence in people suffering from MS, a progressive neurological disease caused when the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells that severely affect communication between the brain and the spinal cord.

The study involved determining the long term effectiveness of stereotactic radiation therapy or radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife in treating trigeminal neuralgia in MS patients. According to Tejan Diwanji, lead author of the study, “Our study shows that radiosurgery using Gamma Knife is a proven alternative to surgery or anti-epileptic drugs.”

Stereotactic radiation therapy uses focused radiation beams to target a well-defined area of the body. Mostly used to treat tumors found in the brain,. The researchers this time focused the radiation beam on a targeted nerve root while sparing the surrounding tissue and reduce side effects. The study involved 13 MS patients with trigeminal neuralgia who were treated with radiosurgery at the University of Maryland between 1998 and 2001. the patients where then followed for a median of five years after treatment. The study showed that this form of therapy can also be an effective long-term treatment for such a painful condition and is considered as noninvasive and with less negative side effects as compared to other treatments.

“We need more long-term studies to confirm the positive and lasting outcomes of radiosurgery, then it could become the treatment of choice for MS patients afflicted with trigeminal neuralgia,” Diwanji further added.

Source: American Society for Radiation Oncology. “Radiation Therapy Improves Painful Condition Associated With Multiple Sclerosis, Study Finds.” ScienceDaily 25 October 2010. 26 October 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.comĀ­ /releases/2010/10/101025133803.htm>

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply