High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Enhances Conditioned Pain Modulation in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Trial

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Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of brain stimulation that allows for the selective increase or decrease in the cortical excitability of a targeted region. When applied over the motor cortex it has been shown to induce changes in cortical and subcortical brain regions involved in descending pain inhibition or conditioned pain modulation (CPM). The aim of the current study was to assess whether activation of pain inhibitory pathways via tDCS of the motor cortex facilitates the CPM response. Elevated CPM after active tDCS of the motor cortex was hypothesized. Thirty healthy male volunteers attended 2 experimental sessions separated by 7 days. Both sessions consisted of CPM assessment after 20 minutes of either active or sham (placebo) tDCS over the motor cortex. CPM capacity was assessed via the pain-inhibits-pain protocol; CPM responses were shown to be elevated after active compared with sham tDCS. This report concludes that tDCS of the motor cortex enhances the CPM response in healthy men. This finding supports the potential utility of tDCS interventions in clinical pain treatment. Perspective The use of noninvasive brain stimulation over the motor cortex was shown to enhance the CPM effect. This finding supports the use of tDCS in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly in sufferers exhibiting maladaptive CPM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Healthy Volunteers
Pain
Motor Cortex
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Brain
Pain Measurement
Chronic Pain
Placebos

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title = "High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Enhances Conditioned Pain Modulation in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Trial",
abstract = "Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of brain stimulation that allows for the selective increase or decrease in the cortical excitability of a targeted region. When applied over the motor cortex it has been shown to induce changes in cortical and subcortical brain regions involved in descending pain inhibition or conditioned pain modulation (CPM). The aim of the current study was to assess whether activation of pain inhibitory pathways via tDCS of the motor cortex facilitates the CPM response. Elevated CPM after active tDCS of the motor cortex was hypothesized. Thirty healthy male volunteers attended 2 experimental sessions separated by 7 days. Both sessions consisted of CPM assessment after 20 minutes of either active or sham (placebo) tDCS over the motor cortex. CPM capacity was assessed via the pain-inhibits-pain protocol; CPM responses were shown to be elevated after active compared with sham tDCS. This report concludes that tDCS of the motor cortex enhances the CPM response in healthy men. This finding supports the potential utility of tDCS interventions in clinical pain treatment. Perspective The use of noninvasive brain stimulation over the motor cortex was shown to enhance the CPM effect. This finding supports the use of tDCS in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly in sufferers exhibiting maladaptive CPM.",
author = "Andrew FLOOD and Gordon WADDINGTON and Stuart CATHCART",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1016/j.jpain.2016.01.472",
language = "English",
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journal = "The Journal of Pain",
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T1 - High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Enhances Conditioned Pain Modulation in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Trial

AU - FLOOD, Andrew

AU - WADDINGTON, Gordon

AU - CATHCART, Stuart

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of brain stimulation that allows for the selective increase or decrease in the cortical excitability of a targeted region. When applied over the motor cortex it has been shown to induce changes in cortical and subcortical brain regions involved in descending pain inhibition or conditioned pain modulation (CPM). The aim of the current study was to assess whether activation of pain inhibitory pathways via tDCS of the motor cortex facilitates the CPM response. Elevated CPM after active tDCS of the motor cortex was hypothesized. Thirty healthy male volunteers attended 2 experimental sessions separated by 7 days. Both sessions consisted of CPM assessment after 20 minutes of either active or sham (placebo) tDCS over the motor cortex. CPM capacity was assessed via the pain-inhibits-pain protocol; CPM responses were shown to be elevated after active compared with sham tDCS. This report concludes that tDCS of the motor cortex enhances the CPM response in healthy men. This finding supports the potential utility of tDCS interventions in clinical pain treatment. Perspective The use of noninvasive brain stimulation over the motor cortex was shown to enhance the CPM effect. This finding supports the use of tDCS in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly in sufferers exhibiting maladaptive CPM.

AB - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of brain stimulation that allows for the selective increase or decrease in the cortical excitability of a targeted region. When applied over the motor cortex it has been shown to induce changes in cortical and subcortical brain regions involved in descending pain inhibition or conditioned pain modulation (CPM). The aim of the current study was to assess whether activation of pain inhibitory pathways via tDCS of the motor cortex facilitates the CPM response. Elevated CPM after active tDCS of the motor cortex was hypothesized. Thirty healthy male volunteers attended 2 experimental sessions separated by 7 days. Both sessions consisted of CPM assessment after 20 minutes of either active or sham (placebo) tDCS over the motor cortex. CPM capacity was assessed via the pain-inhibits-pain protocol; CPM responses were shown to be elevated after active compared with sham tDCS. This report concludes that tDCS of the motor cortex enhances the CPM response in healthy men. This finding supports the potential utility of tDCS interventions in clinical pain treatment. Perspective The use of noninvasive brain stimulation over the motor cortex was shown to enhance the CPM effect. This finding supports the use of tDCS in the treatment of chronic pain, particularly in sufferers exhibiting maladaptive CPM.

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