Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of treatment with a novel noninvasive interactive neurostimulation device (InterX5000) on the production of inflammatory biomarkers in chronic and recurrent mechanical neck pain (NP) syndrome.
Methods: This study represents pilot biological data from a randomized controlled clinical trial. Twenty-five NP patients and 14 asymptomatic subjects included for baseline comparison only completed the study. The patients received 6 InterX5000 or placebo treatments within 2 weeks, and pretreatment and post-treatment blood samples were collected for in vitro determination of biomarker production. Whole blood cell cultures were activated by lipopolysaccharide or by the combination of lipopolysaccharide and phytohemagglutinin for 24 to 48 hours. The levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and its soluble type II receptor (sTNFR II), interleukin (IL) 1, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), IL-6, IL-10, and monocyte chemotactic protein (CCL2/MCP-1) were determined by specific immunoassays.
Results: Compared with asymptomatic subjects, baseline production levels of all proinflammatory mediators (TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, and CCL2/MCP-1) were significantly augmented or trended higher (P = .000-.008) in patients with NP. Of the anti-inflammatory markers, only IL-1RA was significantly elevated (P = .004). The increase in IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor receptor II levels did not reach statistical significance. Neither InterX5000 nor placebo therapy had any significant effect on the production of the inflammatory mediators over the study period.
Conclusion: This investigation determined that inflammatory cytokine pathways are activated in NP patients but found no evidence that a short course of InterX5000 treatment normalized the production of inflammatory biomarkers.
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