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Papers: 18 May 2024 - 24 May 2024

2024 May 23

Sci Rep




Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation focusing on patients with neuropathic pain in the upper limb: a randomized sham-controlled parallel trial.


Mori N, Hosomi K, Nishi A, Miyake A, Yamada T, Matsugi A, Jono Y, Lim C, Khoo HM, Tani N, Oshino S, Saitoh Y, Kishima H


This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of navigation-guided repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the primary motor cortex in patients with neuropathic pain in the upper limb. This randomized, blinded, sham-controlled, parallel trial included a rTMS protocol (10-Hz, 2000 pulses/session) consisting of five daily sessions, followed by one session per week for the next seven weeks. Pain intensity, as well as pain-related disability, quality of life, and psychological status, were assessed. For the primary outcome, pain intensity was measured daily using a numerical rating scale as a pain diary. Thirty patients were randomly assigned to the active rTMS or sham-stimulation groups. In the primary outcome, the decrease (least square [LS] mean ± standard error) in the weekly average of a pain diary at week 9 compared to the baseline was 0.84 ± 0.31 in the active rTMS group and 0.58 ± 0.29 in the sham group (LS mean difference, 0.26; 95% confidence interval, - 0.60 to 1.13). There was no significant effect on the interaction between the treatment group and time point. Pain-related disability score improved, but other assessments showed no differences. No serious adverse events were observed. This study did not show significant pain relief; however, active rTMS tended to provide better results than sham. rTMS has the potential to improve pain-related disability in addition to pain relief.Clinical Trial Registration number: jRCTs052190110 (20/02/2020).