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Neuromodulation and Database

Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Study: Effects of tDCS on chronic pain and itch following burn injury.

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Felipe Fregni

This study is investigating a non-invasive method of brain stimulation (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation- tDCS) for the relief of chronic pain and itch due to a previous burn injury.

During tDCS, we use a small, handheld, battery-powered device. We connect this device to two sponges that are soaked in salt-water (saline) - these sponges are called "electrodes." Using two large rubber bands, we secure the sponges to the scalp. When we turn the device on, a small amount of current travels from the device, through the sponges and to the scalp. The amount of current is very small. Most commonly, people feel a slight itching or tingling underneath the electrodes. For most, the sensation fades a short time later.

For this study, the stimulation will last for 20 minutes each day. In the study, you will receive either active stimulation or sham stimulation (placebo). There is a 50% chance that you will receive the active stimulation. Both the active and sham stimulation feel exactly the same. We use the sham stimulation to see if the results of our study are due to the device, or due to other reasons.

For this study, we are also offering an open-label treatment to patients who receive sham stimulation during their initial participation. Patients may re-enroll and receive 10 sessions of active stimulation.


Time Commitment: The study has different levels of commitment. In addition to tDCS, the study includes questionnaires and long-term follow up about your levels of pain, general quality of life, and mood.

Population: Males and females ages 18 and over with chronic pain that is moderate or severe due to a previous burn injury.   Patients must not have metal implants in the skull region (spinal implants and below are acceptable).

Please click here for further information on these studies. 


Longitudinal Database for National Burn Model System

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey C. Schneider, MD 

BH-BIMS is also dedicated to contributing to the Burn Injury Model Systems national database. The goal is to have a repository of data that will aid future burn patients, as well as their families and clinicians.


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