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Chronic intractable pain is debilitating for those touched, affecting 5% of the population. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has fallen out of favour as the centrally implantable neurostimulation of choice for chronic pain since the 1970⁻1980s, with some neurosurgeons favouring motor cortex stimulation as the 'last chance saloon'. This article reviews the available data and professional opinion of the current state of DBS as a treatment for chronic pain, placing it in the context of other neuromodulation therapies. We suggest DBS, with its newer target, namely anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), should not be blacklisted on the basis of a lack of good quality study data, which often fails to capture the merits of the treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Sci

Publication Date





ACC, DBS, pain