MEG Can Map Short and Long-Term Changes in Brain Activity following Deep Brain Stimulation for Chronic Pain

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  • Hamid R. Mohseni, Univ Oxford, University of Oxford, Warneford Hosp, Dept Psychiat
  • ,
  • Penny P. Smith, Univ Oxford, University of Oxford, Inst Biomed Engn, Sch Engn Sci
  • ,
  • Christine Parsons
  • Katherine S. Young, Univ Oxford, University of Oxford, Warneford Hosp, Dept Psychiat
  • ,
  • Jonathan A. Hyam, Aarhus Univ, Aarhus University, CFIN, Denmark
  • Alan Stein, Univ Oxford, University of Oxford, Warneford Hosp, Dept Psychiat
  • ,
  • John F. Stein, John Radcliffe Hosp, University of Oxford, Dept Neurosurg
  • ,
  • Alexander L. Green, John Radcliffe Hosp, University of Oxford, Dept Neurosurg
  • ,
  • Tipu Z. Aziz, John Radcliffe Hosp, University of Oxford, Dept Neurosurg
  • ,
  • Morten L. Kringelbach

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been shown to be clinically effective for some forms of treatment-resistant chronic pain, but the precise mechanisms of action are not well understood. Here, we present an analysis of magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from a patient with whole-body chronic pain, in order to investigate changes in neural activity induced by DBS for pain relief over both short-and long-term. This patient is one of the few cases treated using DBS of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We demonstrate that a novel method, null-beamforming, can be used to localise accurately brain activity despite the artefacts caused by the presence of DBS electrodes and stimulus pulses. The accuracy of our source localisation was verified by correlating the predicted DBS electrode positions with their actual positions. Using this beamforming method, we examined changes in whole-brain activity comparing pain relief achieved with deep brain stimulation (DBS ON) and compared with pain experienced with no stimulation (DBS OFF). We found significant changes in activity in pain-related regions including the pre-supplementary motor area, brainstem (periaqueductal gray) and dissociable parts of caudal and rostral ACC. In particular, when the patient reported experiencing pain, there was increased activity in different regions of ACC compared to when he experienced pain relief. We were also able to demonstrate long-term functional brain changes as a result of continuous DBS over one year, leading to specific changes in the activity in dissociable regions of caudal and rostral ACC. These results broaden our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of DBS in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37993
JournalP L o S One
Volume7
Issue6
Number of pages9
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2012

    Research areas

  • ANTERIOR CINGULATE, PRINCIPLES, CORTEX

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