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Meet SENSUS: A new non-pharmaceutical device in the world of pain Management

Neurometrix, a developer of wearable medical technology recently launched a new device in the pain management marketplace. It's called SENSUS(2nd generation), a newer version of what is essentially a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

For those who are unaware, diabetics suffer not only from difficulty in controlling blood glucose levels. They can also be afflicted by a myriad of other complications as well, including neuropathy which begins as a "pins and needles" sensation in the extremities, especially in the legs and feet. Sadly over 50 percent of diabetics suffer from this condition; the chronic pain aspect of the problem can negatively effect quality of life.

Having good control of blood glucose levels helps to slow progression of this condition; unfortunately as it progresses it may even result in total loss of sensation. To give you an example of the problem: back in college I had a friend whose mother was a diabetic. This unfortunate woman was plagued by neuropathy, and at one point, she had the misfortune of breaking a bone in one of her legs... and she didn't even know it was broken because she couldn't feel it!

Foot care is essential for those diagnosed with diabetes. For that reason, Neurometrix is working with podiatrists in a program to screen patients for possible peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Earlier diagnosis and treatment of the condition can help to slow progression of the condition. For the patient this may mean a reduced risk of hospitalizations, development of ulceration, and ultimately amputations.

SENSUS is definitely not a cure for neuropathy; in reality, it is a means of achieving some pain control without using pharmaceutical agents.  As mentioned previously, it is basically a TENS unit, and as such serves to "scramble" the pain signal, making it less bothersome to the patient.  The first generation SENSUS provided promising results; hopefully the second generation version will be even better!

Sources: Wall Street Journal; Wikipedia


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