Interventional Neurophysiology for Pain Control: Duration of Pain Relief Following Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Motor Cortex

Neurophysiol Clin. 2001 Aug;31(4):247-52. doi: 10.1016/s0987-7053(01)00260-x.

Abstract

The chronic electrical stimulation of a motor cortical area corresponding to a painful region of the body, by means of surgically-implanted epidural electrodes is a validated therapeutical strategy to control medication-resistant neurogenic pain. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) permits to stimulate non-invasively and precisely the motor cortex. We applied a 20-min session of rTMS of the motor cortex at 10 Hz using a 'real' or a 'sham' coil in a series of 14 patients with intractable pain due to thalamic stroke or trigeminal neuropathy. We studied the effects of rTMS on pain level assessed on a 0-10 visual analogue scale from day 1 to day 12 following the rTMS session. A significant pain decrease was observed up to 8 days after the 'real' rTMS session. This study shows that a transient pain relief can be induced in patients suffering from chronic neurogenic pain during about the week that follows a 20-min session of 10 Hz-rTMS applied over the motor cortex.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electromagnetic Fields* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology
  • Pain, Intractable / therapy*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Thalamic Diseases / complications
  • Trigeminal Nerve Diseases / therapy