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Cephalalgia. 2011 Apr;31(6):661-70. doi: 10.1177/0333102410390394. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Modulation of human trigeminal and extracranial nociceptive processing by transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex.

Author information

1
University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Hansen_N@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study was conducted to investigate the after-effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied over the human primary motor cortex (M1) on trigeminal and extracranial nociceptive processing.

BASIC PROCEDURES:

Nineteen healthy volunteers were stimulated using cathodal, anodal (both 1 mA) or sham tDCS for 20 minutes. Pain processing was assessed by recording trigeminal and extracranial pain-related evoked potentials (PREPs) following electrical stimulation of the contralateral forehead and hand at baseline, 0, 20 and 50 minutes post-tDCS.

MAIN FINDINGS:

Cathodal tDCS resulted in decreased peak-to-peak amplitudes (PPAs) by 18% while anodal tDCS lead to increased PPAs of PREPs by 35% (p < .05).

PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS:

The decreased PPAs suggest an inhibition and the increased PPAs of PREPs suggest an excitation of trigeminal and extracranial pain processing induced by tDCS of the M1. These results may provide evidence for the effectiveness of tDCS as a therapeutic instrument in treating headache disorders.

PMID:
21233281
DOI:
10.1177/0333102410390394
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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