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

Dylan Henssen*, Esmay Giesen, Maudy van der Heiden, Mijke Kerperien, Sibylle Lange, Anne Marie van Cappellen van Walsum, Erkan Kurt, Robert van Dongen, Dennis Schutter, Kris Vissers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134489
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume719
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Chronic neuropathic pain
  • Motor cortex
  • Motor cortex stimulation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Physiology
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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