Treating Chronic Pain with Deep Brain Stimulation

Hao Tan, Erin A. Yamamoto, Mohammed A. Elkholy, Ahmed M. Raslan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) for chronic pain has been controversial. Despite the discouraging outcomes from multicenter clinical trial in the twentieth century, there is sustained interest in optimizing its use to improve patient outcomes. Here we provide a concise overview of DBS for chronic pain as a reference for clinicians. Recent Findings: Recently published data lends tentative support for DBS as a means of treating chronic pain. Still, high level-of-evidence data remain elusive. There are a handful of ongoing and prospective clinical trials exploring DBS for pain in the context of closed-loop neuromodulation, invasive electroencephalography monitoring, stimulation parameters, and novel intracranial targets. Summary: DBS is a potentially viable method of treating chronic pain. Procedure success is dependent on a number of factors including proper patient and intracranial target selection. Outcomes for ongoing and future clinical trials will help clinicians refine DBS use for this clinical indication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Chronic pain
  • DBS
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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