Could normal sensation return after years of complete loss?
Warning: medical specialty jargon ahead
Complications of diabetes
20 million Americans live with diabetes. About 1 in 4 will experience diabetic neuropathy. For millions, their neuropathy progresses to a loss of protective sensation in their feet. This impairment leads to a cascade of falls, injuries, wounds, amputations, and early death.
Current interventions may help relieve pain, but are not intended to restore loss of sensory or motor functions. There is little expectation that protective sensation can return.
Rarely, energy-based therapies prompt the return of sensation. Without real-time recordings, such rare and unexpected events are easily dismissed.
PhotoMed’s Instant Feedback System™ enables everyone to observe and replay events that were assumed to be rare or improbable.
Loss of sensation
Clips from PhotoMed’s real-time recordings demonstrate the what and the when events occurred. Perhaps now, neuroscientists might learn the why and how of the yet unknown mechanisms.
We use the term “pain” to include the experience of “ouchless” sensations. Impaired functions can be objectively measured, such as the loss of protective sensation.
“George” could feel being touched in both feet after 8 years of loss.His wife bends his toes to confirm the return of sensation. (Clip = 43 seconds)
Link to video showing the correction of his perceived touch locations a few minutes before the above video.
+ More About George
“George” experienced diabetes and its complications for 42 years. He experienced a profound loss of sensation in his feet for 8 - 10 years. He arrived looking at his feet to maintain his balance. George volunteered to learn if PhotoMed’s algorithm might relieve his back pain. George and his wife had not considered the possibility of his regaining sensation in his feet.
During his first visit, George’s back pain was partially relieved. Therapy was also applied to his left foot (only). He regained slight awareness of heavy pressure on his left foot.
One week later, George looked at the operator as he walked in. When asked, he reported that he hadn’t noticed much change in his feet. His wife suggested that he now walked more confidently. Von Frey monofilament testing found weak sensation at 19+ grams force. While an improvement, this level is not considered “protective” to prevent falls, etc.
Therapy, during his second visit, was applied only to his right foot. George complied with the request to keep his feet still and to NOT look at his feet. The goal was to avoid cross-sensory perception during the testing.
Within 6 minutes of the first treatments, monofilament testing found significant sensation at 5+ grams force. Video clips show the importance of real-time recordings of unexpected events. These may be the first recordings of an event that we hope will become commonplace.
Phantom sensations from surgery, scars, amputations, or reconstructed skin
Our skin has an abundance of different sensors that provide what and where signals. Our perceptions depend on the fidelity and interpretation of the signals.
If the signals are corrupted, we may feel pain or altered sensations. For example, the experience of “phantom” sensations from a missing limb, scar, or reconstruction of skin. For most people, the brain figures out how to correct the perceptions to reduce pain.
Pain-masking medications may block corrupted signals without restoring fidelity. Thus, masking pain may not relieve pain or perception problems.
Brenda lost sensation in her right fingers after elbow surgery. Her doctors didn’t expect sensation to return any time soon. Watch as Brenda tests her new sensations. (Clip = 10 seconds)
Testing the algorithm for seemingly disparate disorders yielded unexpected responses and outcomes. The abrupt “awakening” of numb fingers or toes sparks surprise for nearly everyone. Could the return of innate sensation break the cascade of complications of diabetes?
Prompting the return to a more normal state does NOT treat the disease, such as diabetes. This is important because non-invasive therapies frequently are accused of treating symptoms. (Like in the presence of aspirin?)
Could a few photons, no brighter than in sunlight, force the body to to maintain “normal” after therapy ends?
Phantom pain - missing maps lead to experiencing pain
Neuroscientists report pain perceived in amputated limbs, called “phantom” pain. Google V.S. Ramachandran to learn more about the peculiarities of how the body fill in missing details, including pain.
For some patients, “mirror therapy” or virtual reality goggles can relieve phantom pain over several-to-many visits. The therapies require the patient to intentionally participate with the hope that neuroplasticity might “rewire” their brain to relieve the “phantom” pain and abnormal sensations.
Could mapping errors account for pain at scars, post-surgical pain, or phantom pain in reconstructed skin?
PhotoMed’s Triple 2 Algorithm provides the practitioner with a more efficient approach that:
Works passively without the patient’s intention or expectation
Prompts the return of sensation bilaterally after treating only one side
Two visits are enough to learn if the therapy likely won’t work.
Could the correction of a map occur too quickly to be a neuroplastic event? Want to find out? PhotoMed’s tools are available for rent or purchase.
These events are no longer rare. A gasp, flinch, or spontaneous remark frequently confirms that something unexpected happened. We thank William Conard, M.D. for his IRB study in Sacramento, California.