Laboratory of Neuromodulation

Medicine Lodge, United States

Laboratory of Neuromodulation

Medicine Lodge, United States
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Moreno-Duarte I.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Moreno-Duarte I.,Harvard University | Morse L.R.,Harvard University | Alam M.,City University of New York | And 6 more authors.
NeuroImage | Year: 2014

Background: Chronic neuropathic pain is one of the most common and disabling symptoms in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Over two-thirds of subjects with SCI suffer from chronic pain influencing quality of life, rehabilitation, and recovery. Given the refractoriness of chronic pain to most pharmacological treatments, the majority of individuals with SCI report worsening of this condition over time. Moreover, only 4-6% of patients in this cohort report improvement. Novel treatments targeting mechanisms associated with pain-maladaptive plasticity, such as electromagnetic neural stimulation, may be desirable to improve outcomes. To date, few, small clinical trials have assessed the effects of invasive and noninvasive nervous system stimulation on pain after SCI. Objective: We aimed to review initial efficacy, safety and potential predictors of response by assessing the effects of neural stimulation techniques to treat SCI pain. Search strategy: A literature search was performed using the PubMed database including studies using the following targeted stimulation strategies: transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), High Definition tDCS (HD-tDCS), repetitive Transcranial Magnetical Stimulation (rTMS), Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) and Motor Cortex Stimulation (MCS), published prior to June of 2012. We included studies from 1998 to 2012. Results: Eight clinical trials and one naturalistic observational study (nine studies in total) met the inclusion criteria. Among the clinical trials, three studies assessed the effects of tDCS, two of CES, two of rTMS and one of TENS. The naturalistic study investigated the analgesic effects of SCS. No clinical trials for epidural motor cortex stimulation (MCS) or HD-tDCS were found. Parameters of stimulation and also clinical characteristics varied significantly across studies. Three out of eight studies showed larger effects sizes (0.73, 0.88 and 1.86 respectively) for pain reduction. Classical neuropathic pain symptoms such as dysesthesia (defined as an unpleasant burning sensation in response to touch), allodynia (pain due to a non-painful stimulus), pain in paroxysms, location of SCI in thoracic and lumbar segments and pain in the lower limbs seem to be associated with a positive response to neural stimulation. No significant adverse effects were reported in these studies. Conclusions: Chronic pain in SCI is disabling and resistant to common pharmacologic approaches. Electrical and magnetic neural stimulation techniques have been developed to offer a potential tool in the management of these patients. Although some of these techniques are associated with large standardized mean differences to reduce pain, we found an important variability in these results across studies. There is a clear need for the development of methods to decrease treatment variability and increase response to neural stimulation for pain treatment. We discuss potential methods such as neuroimaging or EEG-guided neural stimulation and the development of better surrogate markers of response such as TMS-indexed cortical plasticity. © 2013.


Shiozawa P.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Da Silva M.E.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Raza R.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Uchida R.R.,Santa Casa Medical School | And 4 more authors.
Journal of ECT | Year: 2013

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique based on the application of a weak, direct electric current via 2 or more electrodes (anode and cathode) over the scalp. One concern when applying tDCS is skin burn. It has been suggested that skin lesions are related to changes in the local dermal homeostasis, and therefore, caution is warranted in patients with skin diseases (Loo et al [Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011;14:425Y426]). In this context, we believe that it would be useful for this emerging field of tDCS to report the preliminary safety of repeated application of tDCS in a patient with vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder characterized by depigmentation sites of the skin or mucous membranes. We report the case of a 31-year-old male patient with schizophrenia who underwent 10-daily tDCS sessions. He has had generalized vitiligo since childhood, and despite previous treatment, no current dermatologic followup was being carried out. Depigmentation sites were evident in different areas, particularly under the anodal area. We found that repeated anodal tDCS in 1 patient did not lead to skin lesions when applied over a vitiligo skin area. Some of the procedures that we used to buffer changes in skin temperature may have contributed to prevent tDCS-induced skin damage. Nevertheless, the exact conditions that lead to skin lesion are still unknown. Given the growing use and testing of tDCS, continuous assessment and reporting of local adverse effects are still warranted especially in conditions with increased risk of skin lesions such as in dermatologic conditions, skin burns, and previous skin damage.Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Shiozawa P.,University of Sao Paulo | Shiozawa P.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Fregni F.,Harvard University | Bensenor I.M.,University of Sao Paulo | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Transcranial direct cranial stimulation (tDCS) is a promising non-pharmacological intervention for treating major depressive disorder (MDD). However, results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses are mixed. Our aim was to assess the efficacy of tDCS as a treatment for MDD. We performed a systematic review in Medline and other databases from the first RCT available until January 2014. The main outcome was the Hedges' g for continuous scores; secondary outcomes were the odds ratio (ORs) to achieve response and remission. We used a random-effects model. Seven RCTs (n=259) were included, most with small sample sizes that assessed tDCS as either a monotherapy or as an add-on therapy. Active vs. sham tDCS was significantly superior for all outcomes (g=0.37; 95% CI 0.04-0.7; ORs for response and remission were, respectively, 1.63; 95% CI=1.26-2.12 and 2.50; 95% CI=1.26-2.49). Risk of publication bias was low. No predictors of response were identified, possibly owing to low statistical power. In summary, active tDCS was statistically superior to sham tDCS for the acute depression treatment, although its role as a clinical intervention is still unclear owing to the mixed findings and heterogeneity of the reviewed studies. Further RCTs with larger sample sizes and assessing tDCS efficacy beyond the acute depressive episode are warranted. © CINP 2014.


Shiozawa P.,University of Sao Paulo | Fregni F.,University of Sao Paulo | Bensenor I.M.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Lotufo P.A.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Transcranial direct cranial stimulation (tDCS) is a promising non-pharmacological intervention for treating major depressive disorder (MDD). However, results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-Analyses are mixed. Our aim was to assess the efficacy of tDCS as a treatment for MDD. We performed a systematic review in Medline and other databases from the first RCT available until January 2014 the main outcome was the Hedges' g for continuous scores; secondary outcomes were the odds ratio (ORs) to achieve response and remission. We used a random-effects model. Seven RCTs (n = 259) were included, most with small sample sizes that assessed tDCS as either a monotherapy or as an add-on therapy. Active vs. sham tDCS was significantly superior for all outcomes (g = 0.37; 95% CI 0.04-0.7; ORs for response and remission were, respectively, 1.63; 95% CI = 1.26-2.12 and 2.50; 95% CI = 1.26-2.49). Risk of publication bias was low. No predictors of response were identified, possibly owing to low statistical power. In summary, active tDCS was statistically superior to sham tDCS for the acute depression treatment, although its role as a clinical intervention is still unclear owing to the mixed findings and heterogeneity of the reviewed studies. Further RCTs with larger sample sizes and assessing tDCS efficacy beyond the acute depressive episode are warranted. © © CINP 2014.


Portilla A.S.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Bravo G.L.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Miraval F.K.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | Villamar M.F.,Laboratory of Neuromodulation | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Burn Care and Research | Year: 2013

The aim of this article is to evaluate the neuroplastic changes associated with chronic neuropathic pain following burn injury and modulation feasibility using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). This is a crossover, double-blinded case series involving three patients with chronic neuropathic pain following burn injury. Participants were randomly assigned to undergo single sessions of both sham and active anodal tDCS over the primary motor cortex, contralateral to the most painful site. Excitability of the motor cortex was assessed before and after each stimulation session with the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation. An overall decrease in cortical excitability was seen after active tDCS only, as characterized by a decrease in intracortical facilitation and amplitude of motor evoked potentials and an increase in intracortical inhibition. Clinical outcomes did not change after a single session of tDCS. Results are consistent with previous studies showing that patients with chronic neuropathic pain have defective intracortical inhibition. This case series shows early evidence that chronic pain following burn injury may share similar central neural mechanisms, which could be modulated using tDCS. © 2013 by the American Burn Association.

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