Prof Ari Zimran spoke about the research he has carried out into ozone therapy to aid pain control in people with Gaucher's disease, at the Israeli Gaucher's Association meeting held on 5 September 2000. This research was sponsored by the US National Gaucher Foundation and has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Pain and Symptoms Management.
Prof Zimran said that some of his patients have experienced constant pain for many years and for some of them enzyme replacement therapy had come too late to benefit their bone disease.
Ozone therapy has been found to reduce pain for other conditions in several studies and he wished to discover if this therapy could help some of his patients with Gaucher's disease who suffered pain.
Ozone therapy consists of withdrawing a quantity of blood from a patient and placing it into a vacuum bottle. 3% of ozone (a gas consisting of three parts oxygen, 03 - 'heavy oxygen') is mixed into the blood which is then re-injected into the patient.
Nine patients (three men and six women) took part in the study aged between 33 and 61 years old. All patients were on Cerezyme together with pain medication and they received in total 134 ozone treatments.
Therapy was administered once a week over a 12 week period. There were no serious or even significant adverse effects apart from one case of fainting prior to withdrawal of blood, three episodes of facial flushing which improved when the rate of infusion was slowed down, one technical failure due to clotting in bottle and as one patient had poor peripheral veins, only 9 sessions were completed. The study took place in a private hospital in Tel Aviv.
Patients were asked to fill in a pain questionnaire detailing:
§ average pain in the last 24 hours
§ ability to walk
§ daily work
§ quality of sleep
§ quality of life in general
§ intensity of pain during the 24 hours after ozone therapy.
The results showed that there was a general trend of improvement during the 12 weeks of treatment.
In one case, a patient ceased complaining of pain after three ozone infusions. This person had always suffered pain before. Another patient, who used to feel pain when moving into different positions, could now sleep without discomfort. Only one did not improve immediately but showed improvement after 15 weeks of treatment.
Prof Zimran concluded: 'An important result was the reduced need for pain medication. '
Source: Gaucher's News March 2001.
© Copyright Gaucher's Association 2001
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