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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Jul 2020 - 10 Jul 2020

Human Studies

2020 Jul 09

J Spinal Cord Med

Differences in resting cerebellar and prefrontal cortical blood flow in spinal cord injury-related neuropathic pain: A brief report.


Richardson EJ, Deutsch G, Deshpande HD, Richards SJ
J Spinal Cord Med. 2020 Jul 09:1-6.
PMID: 32644023.


Little is understood about differences in resting neural activity among those with spinal cord injury (SCI)-related neuropathic pain. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine resting cerebral blood flow differences in persons with SCI-related neuropathic pain compared to healthy, pain-free able-bodied controls. Five persons with paraplegia and ten able-bodied participants were included in this study. Resting blood flow, as measured by a continuous arterial spin labeling (ASL) method of fMRI, was analyzed via statistical parametric mapping. Persons with SCI-related neuropathic pain had significantly lower resting blood flow in the cerebellum (Crus I/II), rostral ventromedial medulla and left insular cortex. In contrast, greater resting blood flow occurred in the medial orbitofrontal cortex among those with SCI-related neuropathic pain compared to controls. Differences in resting blood flow were observed among those with SCI-related pain, particularly in regions that may be involved in affective-motivational and cognitive-evaluative aspects of pain. Larger ASL studies in addition to functional connectivity studies using fMRI are needed to clarify unique neural patterns in this complex and often intractable form of pain.