Neurosurgery: Electrical Relief of Pain

When pain becomes so severe that doctors call it "intractable," they mean that it cannot be controlled by any safe and simple dosage of drugs. Even the most severe pain can usually be alleviated by cutting the appropriate nerve fibers in the spinal cord, but this in itself is considered major surgery, and too drastic an operation for some patients. The cord-cutting procedure has an added disadvantage: when the patient recovers, he will have suffered permanent loss of feeling in the affected part of his body. Now an imaginative University of Chicago neurosurgeon has devised a way to achieve...

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