Last updated on August 2010

Development of a Bedside Pain Assessment Kit for Postherpetic Neuralgia

Brief description of study

Post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is an undertreated condition. It is a type of neuropathic pain (NP), or pain caused by abnormal activity of sensory nerves. Its mechanisms are not fully understood, and medication trials for PHN pain and other types of NP are frequently unsuccessful. There has been extensive investigation aimed at identifying and understanding the specific mechanisms of NP. While some of these tests are inexpensive and easy to perform at the bedside, many require expensive tools and highly equipped laboratory facilities. Further, there is no standard method for assessment of pain in NP patients. The investigators aim to test a Bedside Sensory Testing Kit (assessment for Neuropathic Pain) on a small number of patients with PHN. The purpose of the Kit is to identify mechanisms of pain. The goal of this research is to design a way to classify patients with PHN based on what mechanisms are causing their pain, since this may help predict the best medications for individual patients.

Detailed Study Description

We hypothesize: (a) that a Bedside Sensory Testing Kit for PHN can be designed such that it works efficiently with Subjects and Investigators, is tolerated well by Subjects, and is statistically reliable between Investigators; (b) that the sensory testing kit can distinguish between PHN patients with different sensory qualities to their pain which may be caused by different underlying pain mechanisms. The subjects will be patients with postherpetic neuralgia who voluntarily participate and meet eligibility criteria. The study participants will complete a brief questionnaire and undergo three rounds of the BSTK, performed by two study investigators. The items in the BSTK correspond to a series of sensory assessments, each of which are aimed to contribute to the characterization of individuals' PHN pain.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT01166295

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