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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Sep 2019 - 20 Sep 2019

2020 Feb 06

Neurosci Lett


A systematic review of the proposed mechanisms underpinning pain relief by primary motor cortex stimulation in animals.


Henssen DJHA, Giesen E, van der Heiden MLE, Kerperien M, Lange SA, Van Cappellen van Walsum AM, Kurt E, van Dongen R, Schutter DJLG, Vissers K
Neurosci Lett. 2020 Feb 06; 719:134489.
PMID: 31518678.


Experimental treatments for treating neuropathic pain include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and invasive electric motor cortex stimulation (iMCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1). Mechanisms of action of both methods, however, remain largely elusive. Within this paper, we focus on animal-based experiments in order to investigate the biological mechanisms that are involved in alleviating pain by use of TMS and/or iMCS. Therefore, this paper systematically reviewed the animal-based evidence on these mechanisms. Multiple online databases were systematically searched and retrieved articles were assessed using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twenty-three suitable articles were included; six on TMS and seventeen on iMCS. In general, iMCS and TMS were found to impact the primary motor cortex structure and function in animals. Furthermore, structural and functional changes within the thalamus, striatum, periaqueductal grey, rostral ventromedial medulla and dorsal horn were reported to occur. Although widespread, all areas in which structural and functional changes occurred after TMS and iMCS have been found to be interconnected anatomically. This could provide a rationale for future investigations of treating neuropathic pain by use of neuromodulation.