Cathodal tDCS over the somatosensory cortex relieved chronic neuropathic pain in a patient with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS/RSD) (pp. 365-368)
Authors: (Helena Knotkova, Peter Homel and Ricardo A. Cruciani)
Abstract: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I, formerly known
as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD) is a
debilitating neuropathic pain syndrome. Pain in CRPS/RSD
is disproportionate to the inciting event, and in many cases
CRPS/RSD-related pain does not respond to conventional
therapy. The anodal transcranial direct current stimulation
(tDCS) has been shown to alleviate intractable pain in
CRPS/RSD as well as in some other chronic pain
syndromes, while the cathodal tDCS has been shown to
reduce experimentally-induced pain in healthy subjects. Up
to date, there is no published evidence of the analgesic
efficacy of cathodal tDCS over the somatosensory cortex
for chronic pain. Here, we report our findings from cathodal
stimulation over the somatosensory cortex as compared
with “traditional” anodal stimulation over the motor cortex,
applied in clinical settings to a patient with intractable
CRPS/RSD–related chronic pain in lower limb. The patient
received one block of anodal tDCS over the motor cortex
and one block of cathodal tDCs over the somatosensory
cortex. The period between the two blocks was 6 weeks.
Each block consisted of 5 sessions on 5 consecutive days,
and the current at intensity of 2 mA was delivered for 20
min. Both cathodal tDCS over the somatosensory cortex
and anodal tDCS over the motor cortex resulted in
significant pain relief. However, the patient favored the
cathodal stimulation. Our findings suggest that it is
clinically meaningful to further evaluate the analgesic
potential of cathodal tDCS by conducting sham-controlled
studies in larger samples of patients.
Open Access item.
Click below PDF icon for free download.
This is an Open Access item. Click above PDF icon for free download.