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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) priming of 1Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) modulates experimental pain thresholds



Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) priming of 1Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) modulates experimental pain thresholds



Neuroscience Letters 534: 289-294



Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of primary motor cortex (M1) modulate cortical excitability. Both techniques have been demonstrated to modulate chronic pain and experimental pain thresholds, but with inconsistent effects. Preconditioning M1 with weak tDCS (1mA) standardizes the effects of subsequent stimulation via rTMS on levels of cortical excitability. Here we examine whether 1Hz rTMS, primed with tDCS, could effectively standardize the modulation of pain thresholds. Thermal pain thresholds were determined using quantitative sensory testing (QST) of the palmar thenar of both hands in 12 healthy males pre and post tDCS - 1Hz rTMS over the hand area of the left M1. Cathodal tDCS preconditioning of 1Hz rTMS successfully reversed the normal suppressive effect of low frequency rTMS and effectively modulated cold and heat pain thresholds. Conversely, anodal tDCS - 1Hz rTMS led to a decrease in cold pain thresholds. Therefore, this study supports that preconditioning M1 using cathodal tDCS before subsequent stimulation via 1Hz rTMS facilitates the production of analgesia.

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Accession: 056634623

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23238449

DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.11.049


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