Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
A recent study by Ian Gilron and colleagues (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23370066) showed that neuropathic pain increases throughout the day leading to clinically meaningful morning-evening differences. These results may help explain why people with painful diabetic neuropathy have difficulty falling asleep. The authors propose that the normally low levels of endogenous opioids (i.e., the body’s natural pain modulators) in the evening may partially account for the morning-night variation in pain. Interestingly, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation such as with SENSUS is known to increase endogenous opioid levels and may therefore decrease pain and improve sleep.