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Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2016 Jun 16;14:234-7. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2016.06.003. eCollection 2016.

Deep brain stimulation versus motor cortex stimulation for neuropathic pain: A minireview of the literature and proposal for future research.

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Section of Neurosurgery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty Lübeck, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
Division of Neurosurgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The treatment of neuropathic pain remains a public health concern. A growing cohort of patients is plagued by medically refractory, unrelenting severe neuropathic pain that ruins their quality of life and productivity. For this group, neurosurgery can offer two different kinds of neuromodulation that may help: deep brain simulation (DBS) and motor cortex stimulation (MCS). Unfortunately, there is no consensus on how to perform these procedures, which stimulation parameters to select, how to measure success, and which patients may benefit. This brief review highlights the literature supporting each technique and attempts to provide some comparisons and contrasts between DBS and MCS for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Finally, we highlight the current unanswered questions in the field and suggest future research strategies that may advance the care of our patients with neuropathic pain.


Deep brain stimulation; Motor cortex stimulation; Neuropathic pain; Review

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