Modulation of pain perception by transcranial magneticstimulation of left prefrontal cortex.

Giuseppe Giglia, Giuseppe Cosentino, Brigida Fierro, Filippo Brighina, Marina De Tommaso, Angela Rita Puma, Francesca Giglia, Maristella Panetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence by functional imaging studies suggests the role of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in the inhibitory control of nociceptive transmission system. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is able to modulate pain response to capsaicin. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of DLPFC activation (through rTMS) on nociceptive control in a model of capsaicin-induced pain. The study was performed on healthy subjects that underwent capsaicin application on right or left hand. Subjects judged the pain induced by capsaicin through a 0-100 VAS scale before and after 5 Hz rTMS over left and right DLPFC at 10 or 20 min after capsaicin application in two separate groups (8 subjects each). Left DLPFC-rTMS delivered either at 10 and 20 min after capsaicin application significantly decreased spontaneous pain in both hands. Right DLPFC rTMS showed no significant effect on pain measures. According to these results, stimulation of left DLPFC seems able to exert a bilateral control on pain system, supporting the critical antinociceptive role of such area. This could open new perspectives to non-invasive brain stimulation protocols of alternative target area for pain treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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