Motor Cortex Stimulation Reverses Maladaptive Plasticity Following Spinal Cord Injury
Annual rept. 31 Aug 2010-30 Aug 2011
MARYLAND UNIV BALTIMORE
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The majority of patients with spinal cord injury SCI develop intractable chronic neuropathic pain that is resistant to conventional pharmacologic treatments. An alternative and potentially effective modality of treatment motor cortex stimulation MCS offers hope for these patients. The purpose of this application is to elucidate the neurobiological basis of reduced pain following MCS. We propose that MCS reverses hyperalgesia by enhancing the activity in the GABAergic nucleus zona incerta ZI, and therefore inhibiting pain processing in the posterior thalamus PO. Using single cell extracellular electrophysiological recordings from the thalamus of rats with SCIpain we tested the effect of MCS on the activity of neurons in ZI and PO. MCS significantly enhanced spontaneous and evoked responses in the majority of ZI neurons and caused a significant and robust suppression of activity in PO. These findings are consistent with our overarching hypothesis that MCS alleviates pain by activating the incerto-thalamic pathway.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology