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Clin Neurophysiol. 2013 Oct;124(10):2016-24. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 May 22.

Effects of non-pharmacological pain treatments on brain states.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. mjensen@uw.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To (1) evaluate the effects of a single session of four non-pharmacological pain interventions, relative to a sham tDCS procedure, on pain and electroencephalogram- (EEG-) assessed brain oscillations, and (2) determine the extent to which procedure-related changes in pain intensity are associated with changes in brain oscillations.

METHODS:

30 individuals with spinal cord injury and chronic pain were given an EEG and administered measures of pain before and after five procedures (hypnosis, meditation, transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS], neurofeedback, and a control sham tDCS procedure).

RESULTS:

Each procedure was associated with a different pattern of changes in brain activity, and all active procedures were significantly different from the control procedure in at least three bandwidths. Very weak and mostly non-significant associations were found between changes in EEG-assessed brain activity and pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Different non-pharmacological pain treatments have distinctive effects on brain oscillation patterns. However, changes in EEG-assessed brain oscillations are not significantly associated with changes in pain, and therefore such changes do not appear useful for explaining the benefits of these treatments.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The results provide new findings regarding the unique effects of four non-pharmacological treatments on pain and brain activity.

KEYWORDS:

Brain states; Chronic pain; Electroencephalography; Non-pharmacological treatments; Spinal cord injury

PMID:
23706958
PMCID:
PMC3759647
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2013.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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