For pain patients who attend or watch the Power of Pain Midwest Pain Summit on Saturday August 15th, they will hear an interesting story.
One of the presenters, Dr. Steven Best of the Neuroscience Center in Deerfield, Illinois will talk about a novel approach he has developed to treat chronic pain, chronic depression and substance abuse.
The combination therapy of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with infused ketamine is, he says, getting some pretty interesting results.
One of the patients he’s treated in Gracie Gean Bagosy-Young, a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report. She was skeptical at first.
“I didn’t believe him when he told me that his invention could help me,” she said. “Nothing else so far had really done too much, except scramble and trick the pain for a while.”
She’s been seeing Dr. Best for about one year.
Dr. Best is subspecialty-trained in Neuropsychiatry and thus well-equipped to understand the bridge between neurological function and emotion experience. He believes that emotional pain and chronic pain are linked and maybe even the same.
“People with mood disorders often develop real physical pain and those who suffer from chronic pain are often depressed,” he said. “For people in the know, this connection makes sense.”
While his treatment can still only be called experimental, or as his website calls it, “novel”, Dr. Best thinks it should start to gain wider acceptance. He has published case studies and said the word is starting to get out, but he knows what he needs to do is a real controlled pilot study.
And those are expensive.
He estimates it would cost about a million dollars to do a study of 40 patients, half of them getting his combination therapy and half getting just infused ketamine.
We wondered if industry wouldn’t be interested in this, and he said he was skeptical.
He charges $850 per session for his outpatient treatment, which some insurances cover. He said some doctors charge as much as $1200 for an infusion of ketamine alone.
He is going to request funding from some pain foundations so he can do a trial.
He calls the results “thrilling”. He’s been using the therapy for the last four years.
For Bagosy-Young, whose insurance covers a portion of the procedure, she says she’s getting real relief of not just the pain, but also the accompanying symptoms from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She said the Neuroscience Center is a place that she went because she was out of options how to treat her chronic pain.
“This represented a last resort. Dr. Best takes the patients that no one else wants. He takes the patients that other doctors have no idea how to treat-and he helps them get better,” she said.
The Neuroscience Center is one of the premiere sponsors of the Midwest P.A.I.N. Expo at the Northbrook, Illinois Hilton. The Expo, which starts at 10 am, is free and also will be streamed live on the internet for those who cannot attend in person. While free, one must register online to attend or view the live stream. Register here.
With a panel of nationally known speakers, It will provide multiple education and exhibition opportunities and be a day of learning for pain sufferers in the Midwest.
We will keep you up to date on Dr. Best’s efforts as well.
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