High frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates sensorimotor cortex function in the transition to sustained muscle pain

Enrico De Martino, David A Seminowicz, Siobhan M Schabrun, Laura Petrini, Thomas Graven-Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Based on reciprocal connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and basal-ganglia regions associated with sensorimotor cortical excitability, it was hypothesized that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the left DLPFC would modulate sensorimotor cortical excitability induced by muscle pain. Muscle pain was provoked by injections of nerve growth factor (end of Day-0 and Day-2) into the right extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle in two groups of 15 healthy participants receiving 5 daily sessions (Day-0 to Day-4) of active or sham rTMS. Muscle pain scores and pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were collected (Day-0, Day-3, Day-5). Assessment of motor cortical excitability using TMS (mapping cortical ECRB muscle representation) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) from electrical stimulation of the right radial nerve were recorded at Day-0 and Day-5. At Day-0 versus Day-5, the sham compared to active group showed: Higher muscle pain scores and reduced PPTs (P < 0.04); decreased frontal N30 SEP (P < 0.01); increased TMS map volume (P < 0.03). These results indicate that muscle pain exerts modulatory effects on the sensorimotor cortical excitability and left DLPFC rTMS has analgesic effects and modulates pain-induced sensorimotor cortical adaptations. These findings suggest an important role of prefrontal to basal-ganglia function in sensorimotor cortical excitability and pain processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroImage
Volume186
Early online date1 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

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