Yolanda A. Pérez-Borrego, Vanesa Soto-León, Ángela Brocalero-Camacho, Antonio Oliviero, Carmen Carrasco-López

A Retrospective Study on tDCS Treatment in Patients with Drug-Resistant Chronic Pain

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Background. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) has an analgesic effect superior to a placebo in chronic pain. Some years ago, tDCS was implemented at the Hospital Nacional of Paraplegics (Toledo, Spain) to treat patients with pharmacological resistance to chronic pain. Objective. The main objectives of this study with tDCS were (1) to confirm the safety of one-year treatment; (2) to estimate the number of patients after one year in treatment; (3) to describe the effects of tDCS on the pain intensity during one-year treatment; and (4) to identify factors related to treatment success. Methods. This was a retrospective study conducted at the National Hospital for Paraplegics with 155 patients with pharmacologically resistant chronic pain. Anodal tDCS was applied over the M1 for 20 min at 1.5 mA for 10 treatment sessions from Monday to Friday (Induction phase), followed by 2–3 sessions per month (Maintenance phase). Pain intensity was assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Results. Anodal tDCS on M1 confirmed the reduction in the pain intensity. Moreover, 58% of outpatients completed one year of treatment. Only the VAS values obtained during the baseline influenced the response to treatment. Patients with a very high VAS at the baseline were more likely to not respond adequately to tDCS treatment. Conclusions. Anodal tDCS over M1 is an adequate therapy (safe and efficient) to treat drug-resistant chronic pain. Moreover, pain intensity at the start of treatment could be a predictor of patients’ continuity with tDCS for at least one year.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive