The research study
A three-year research study co-ordinated at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research with researchers from Spain, Denmark, Glasgow, Southampton.
Despite recent advances in the understanding of how non-invasive brain modulation may control neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury, little is known of how these therapies may control highly debilitating types of pain, improve the body´s natural pain-killing system, or help people to cope with their pain. This project brings together experts from around the UK and Europe in the neurological diagnosis of neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury.
The team will assess the potential therapeutic value of modulating cognitive and emotional pain centres in the brain for controlling pain interference, whilst restoring the body’s natural pain-killing system and promoting effective pain coping strategies. Focusing on the anterior cingulate – most frequently linked to the experience of pain – and the prefrontal cortex – which is implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision-making and moderating social behaviour – it will assess how non-invasive magnetic stimulation and EEG neurofeedback can control the part of the brain that processes pain unpleasantness.
The team expect to be able to identify prognostic measure of affective spinal cord injury neuropathic pain development as well as pinpoint those people who are at risk of not being able to cope with their pain.