Deans' stroke musings

Changing stroke rehab and research worldwide now.Time is Brain!Just think of all the trillions and trillions of neurons that DIE each day because there are NO effective hyperacute therapies besides tPA(only 12% effective). I have 493 posts on hyperacute therapy, enough for researchers to spend decades proving them out. These are my personal ideas and blog on stroke rehabilitation and stroke research. Do not attempt any of these without checking with your medical provider. Unless you join me in agitating, when you need these therapies they won't be there.

What this blog is for:

Shortly after getting out of the hospital and getting NO information on the process or protocols of stroke rehabilitation and recovery I started searching on the internet and found that no other survivor received useful information. This is an attempt to cover all stroke rehabilitation information that should be readily available to survivors so they can talk with informed knowledge to their medical staff. It's quite disgusting that this information is not available from every stroke association and doctors group.
My back ground story is here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Motor Cortex Neurostimulation Technologies for Chronic Post-stroke Pain: Implications of Tissue Damage on Stimulation Currents

No clue since I've not had to think about CPSP. Ask someone else.
  • 1Neuromodulation Lab and Center for Clinical Research and Learning – Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • 2Laboratory of Cerebral Dynamics, Plasticity and Rehabilitation, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  • 3Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  • 4Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
  • 5Highland Instruments, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 6Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA
  • 7Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS UMR 7225-INSERM U1127, Institut du Cerveau et la Moelle Epinière, Paris, France
  • 8Cognitive Neuroscience and Information Technology Research Program, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Background: Central post stroke pain (CPSP) is a highly refractory syndrome that can occur after stroke. Primary motor cortex (M1) brain stimulation using epidural brain stimulation (EBS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been explored as potential therapies for CPSP. These techniques have demonstrated variable clinical efficacy. It is hypothesized that changes in the stimulating currents that are caused by stroke-induced changes in brain tissue conductivity limit the efficacy of these techniques.
Methods: We generated MRI-guided finite element models of the current density distributions in the human head and brain with and without chronic focal cortical infarctions during EBS, TMS, and tDCS. We studied the change in the stimulating current density distributions’ magnitude, orientation, and maxima locations between the different models.
Results: Changes in electrical properties at stroke boundaries altered the distribution of stimulation currents in magnitude, location, and orientation. Current density magnitude alterations were larger for the non-invasive techniques (i.e., tDCS and TMS) than for EBS. Nonetheless, the lesion also altered currents during EBS. The spatial shift of peak current density, relative to the size of the stimulation source, was largest for EBS.
Conclusion: In order to maximize therapeutic efficiency, neurostimulation trials need to account for the impact of anatomically disrupted neural tissues on the location, orientation, and magnitude of exogenously applied currents. The relative current-neuronal structure should be considered when planning stimulation treatment, especially across techniques (e.g., using TMS to predict EBS response). We postulate that the effects of altered tissue properties in stroke regions may impact stimulation induced analgesic effects and/or lead to highly variable outcomes during brain stimulation treatments in CPSP.


Central post stroke pain (CPSP) results from stroke lesions to any region of the somatosensory pathway (Klit et al., 2009; Kumar et al., 2009; Creutzfeldt et al., 2012; Mozaffarian et al., 2015). Between 8 and 25% of the ~18 M/year new cases of stroke develop CPSP (Strong et al., 2007; Klit et al., 2015). CPSP leads to poor quality of life (Kumar and Soni, 2009; Oh and Seo, 2015). Patients are often refractory to pharmacotherapy and can become drug dependent (Kumar and Soni, 2009). Such limitations have motivated researchers to explore brain stimulation therapies to treat CPSP.
Epidural Brain Stimulation (EBS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) have all been investigated. Stimulation of primary motor cortex (M1) appears to be the most effective cortical target (Nguyen et al., 1999; Kumar and Soni, 2009; Hirabayashi et al., 2011; DosSantos et al., 2012; Fregni et al., 2014; Brietzke et al., 2015; Cioato et al., 2015; Morishita et al., 2015; Oh and Seo, 2015). Analgesia is believed to be achieved through the stimulation of M1-thalmic relays to reduce hyperactivity in thalamic linked pain networks (Tsubokawa et al., 1993; Mertens et al., 1999; Khedr et al., 2005; Garcia-Larrea and Peyron, 2007; Peyron et al., 2007; Lima and Fregni, 2008; Nguyen et al., 2008; Fontaine et al., 2009; Lefaucheur et al., 2009; Ohn et al., 2012; Bae et al., 2014; Hasan et al., 2014; Lefaucheur, 2016).
While EBS, TMS, and tDCS have shown some clinical success in treating CPSP, high variability across studies has impeded their widespread acceptance (Mertens et al., 1999; Lefaucheur et al., 2004, 2009; Lima and Fregni, 2008; Nguyen et al., 2008; Fontaine et al., 2009; DosSantos et al., 2012; Bae et al., 2014; Lefaucheur, 2016). Upward of 30% of EBS patients do not respond to stimulation (Tsubokawa et al., 1993; Katayama et al., 1998; Mertens et al., 1999; Nguyen et al., 1999). However, it should be noted that this is highly dependent on patient characteristics, and even lower response rates have been reported in certain patient classes (Katayama et al., 1998). Meta-analyses by O’Connell et al. (2014) and Vaseghi et al. (2014) demonstrated limited evidence supporting the use of TMS or tDCS in chronic pain and CPSP. Vaseghi et al. (2014), who focused on tDCS, commented that stimulation could induce significant analgesic effects, but due to the heterogeneity across studies it is difficult to support its use in chronic pain (O’Connell et al., 2014; Vaseghi et al., 2014).
Such variable levels of efficacy have been associated with several factors such as lesion location and extent, the impact of altered neuronal excitability, and the shrinkage of gray and white matter (Hossman, 2009). Infarction based changes in brain tissue conductivity could also impact stimulation based CPSP treatments. Necrotic brain tissue in the infarction region is phagocytized by inflammatory cells and replaced by a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) (De Girolami et al., 1999). CSF produces a sixfold increase in the tissues’ electrical conductivity and a drastic disruption of the tissue geometry (Yunokuchi et al., 1998; Jacobs et al., 2001; Brown et al., 2003; Soltanian-Zadeh et al., 2003; Wagner et al., 2004, 2006, 2007a; Harris-Love and Cohen, 2006). Such altered electrical tissue properties have been shown to perturb the stimulating currents during TMS and tDCS (Wagner et al., 2006, 2007b, 2009).
Nevertheless, as emphasized by Plow and others, the role of such variables in influencing the distribution of current fields and ultimately impacting therapeutic efficacy in focally injured brain models needs further consideration, and remains to be compared across different brain stimulation techniques (Plow et al., 2009). Comparisons across stimulation techniques, which differ by electrode/source size, focality, invasiveness, proximity to lesion borders and specific features of the delivered electrical currents, are fundamental to evaluating and optimizing their clinical use (Plow et al., 2009). Furthermore, this comparative information is important for assessing the use of non-invasive stimulation techniques to identify responders to CPSP stimulation treatments prior to implanting invasive stimulation devices (Khedr et al., 2005; Lefaucheur, 2013, 2016).
The aim of this study is to determine how infarctions and/or complex neuroanatomy could alter the neurostimulation currents of the three primary neurostimulation techniques used in CPSP and potentially impact their clinical significance.

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