The current study investigated 10 patients who were living with severe chronic leg pain and who were implanted with a spinal cord stimulator to reduce their pain. Seed-based analysis of the resting state functional connectivity was conducted using seeds in regions established as participating in pain networks or in the DMN, in addition to the network analysis. Results show significant differences in resting state connectivity between spinal cord stimulation off and optimal state were seen between several regions related to pain perception, including the left frontal insula, right primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, as well as in regions involved in the DMN, such as the precuneus.
Data findings show decreased connection strength between somatosensory and limbic areas and increased connection strength between somatosensory and DMN with optimal spinal cord stimulation resulting in pain relief. The lab state that this suggests pain relief from spinal cord stimulation may be reducing negative emotional processing associated with pain, allowing somatosensory areas to become more integrated into default mode activity. The group conclude that spinal cord stimulation reduces the affective component of pain resulting in optimal pain relief, and provides decreased connectivity between somatosensory and limbic brain regions associated with optimal pain relief.
The team surmise that their study is the first to show that therapeutic spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in certain areas of the brain in those with chronic pain. For the future, the researchers state that being able to modulate the connections between the brain areas involved in emotions and those linked to sensations may be an important mechanism involved in pain relief linked to spinal cord stimulation.
Michelle Petersen is the founder of Healthinnovations, having worked in the health and science industry for over 21 years, which includes tenure within the NHS and Oxford University. Healthinnovations is a publication that has reported on, influenced, and researched current and future innovations in health for the past decade.
Michelle has been picked up as an expert writer for Informa publisher’s Clinical Trials community, as well as being listed as a blog source by the world’s leading medical journals, including the acclaimed Nature-Springer journal series.
Healthinnovations is currently indexed by the trusted Altmetric and PlumX metrics systems, respectively, as a blog source for published research globally. Healthinnovations is also featured in the world-renowned BioPortfolio, BioPortfolio.com, the life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare portal.
Most recently the Texas A&M University covered The Top 10 Healthinnovations series on their site with distinguished Professor Stephen Maren calling the inclusion of himself and his team on the list a reflection of “the hard work and dedication of my students and trainees”.
Michelle Petersen’s copy was used in the highly successful marketing campaign for the mega-hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Jack Black, Karen Gilian, Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Michelle Petersen’s copywriting was part of the film’s coverage by the Republic TV network. Republic TV is the most-watched English language TV channel in India since its inception in 2017.
An avid campaigner in the fight against child sex abuse and trafficking, Michelle is a passionate humanist striving for a better quality of life for all humans by helping to provide traction for new technologies and techniques within healthcare.