Kim, J. K., Park, H. S., Bae, J. S., Jeong, Y. S., Jung, K. J., & Lim, J. Y. (2020). Effects of multi-session intermittent theta burst stimulation on central neuropathic pain: A randomized controlled trial. NeuroRehabilitation, (Preprint), 1-8.
In this randomized, sham-controlled study, the authors investigated the effects of five days of once-daily intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) on neuropathic pain. Thirty subjects with neuropathic pain were randomized to receive either real or sham iTBS. In the real stimulation group (n=15), iTBS was delivered to the motor cortex at 80% active motor threshold (aMT). For subjects with unilateral brain lesions, stimulation was delivered to the ipsilesional side. Where bilateral brain lesions were present, stimulation was delivered to the hemisphere contralateral to the most painful extremities or to the hemisphere contralateral to the dominant hand when bilateral pain was relatively equal in severity. Sham stimulation was delivered by tilting the coil 90 degrees away from the subject’s scalp. Prior to and after completing the intervention, subjects’ pain levels were assessed using the self-completed Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (S-LANSS), the neuropathic pain symptom inventory (NPSI), the numeric rating scale (NRS), and the neuropathic pain scale (NPS).
Statistical analysis of the pain assessment scores revealed that there were no significant differences between the real iTBS and sham iTBS groups in pain severity at baseline. For the sham iTBS group, there were no significant differences in pain scores at post- versus pre-intervention. In contrast, the real iTBS group experienced significant decreases in all measures of pain at post intervention. Furthermore, at post-intervention the real iTBS group had significantly lower scores compared to the sham iTBS group for S-LANSS, NPSI, NRS, and 3 out of 4 NPS combination scores.
The authors concluded that iTBS led to significant reductions in neuropathic pain.
*For original abstract/publication see the link below.