Ventral posterolateral deep brain stimulation treatment for neuropathic pain shortens pain response after cold stimuli


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Abstract

Neuropathic pain is often severe. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a treatment method for neuropathic pain, but its mechanism of action remains unclear. Patients with neuropathic pain are affected by various stimulations, such as mechanical and cold stimuli, but studies of cold allodynia showed the associated pain to be less than that caused by mechanical stimuli. This study focused on the effects of DBS on cold allodynia in rats. To observe the effects of DBS, we established three groups: a normal group (normal), a neuropathic pain group (pain), and a DBS with neuropathic pain group (DBS). The stimulation target was the ventral posterolateral nucleus (VPL). We observed differences in the degree of cold allodynia elicited between a conventional method that measured the number of pain responses and our altered novel method that measured the duration of pain responses. Cold allodynia after DBS did not differ when conventional analysis was applied, but the pain response duration was decreased. We suggest that VPL DBS was partially effective in cold allodynia, implicating complex pathways of pain signaling. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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