Changes in sensory hand representation and pain thresholds induced by motor cortex stimulation in humans

Houze, Berengere, Bradley, Claire, Magnin, Michel and Garcia-Larrea, Luis (2013) Changes in sensory hand representation and pain thresholds induced by motor cortex stimulation in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 23 11: 2667-2676. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhs255


Author Houze, Berengere
Bradley, Claire
Magnin, Michel
Garcia-Larrea, Luis
Title Changes in sensory hand representation and pain thresholds induced by motor cortex stimulation in humans
Journal name Cerebral Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-3211
1460-2199
Publication date 2013-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhs255
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 11
Start page 2667
End page 2676
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Shrinking of deafferented somatosensory regions after neural damage is thought to participate to the emergence of neuropathic pain, and pain-relieving procedures have been reported to induce the normalization of altered cortical maps. While repetitive magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the motor cortex can lessen neuropathic pain, no evidence has been provided that this is concomitant to changes in sensory maps. Here, we assessed in healthy volunteers the ability of 2 modes of motor cortex rTMS commonly used in pain patients to induce changes in pain thresholds and plastic phenomena in the S1 cortex. Twenty minutes of high-frequency (20 Hz) rTMS significantly increased pain thresholds in the contralateral hand, and this was associated with the expansion of the cortical representation of the hand on high-density electroencephalogram source analysis. Neither of these effects were observed after sham rTMS, nor following intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). The superiority of 20-Hz rTMS over iTBS to induce sensory plasticity may reflect its better match with intrinsic cortical motor frequencies, which oscillate at around 20 Hz. rTMS-induced changes might partly counterbalance the plasticity induced by a nerve lesion, and thus substantiate the use of rTMS to treat human pain. However, a mechanistic relation between S1 plasticity and pain-relieving effects is far from being established.
Keyword Motor cortex
Pain
Plasticity
rTMS
Somatosensory-evoked potentials
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
 
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