tDCS in inflammatory bowel disease patients modifies resting-state functional connectivity

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Transcranial direct current stimulation in inflammatory bowel disease patients modifies resting-state functional connectivity: A RCT.

Brain Stimul. 2019 Mar 05;:

Authors: Neeb L, Bayer A, Bayer KE, Farmer A, Fiebach JB, Siegmund B, Volz MS

BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is known to be associated with functional and structural changes in the brain. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) presents with chronic abdominal pain in almost 35% of all patients. This study investigates structural and functional changes in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to ameliorate pain in IBD.
METHODS: This phase-III, placebo-controlled, randomized study included 36 patients with IBD and chronic pain. MRI scans were performed before and following tDCS, which was applied for 5 days.
RESULTS/CONCLUSION: For the first time, this study revealed an association of changes in resting-state functional MRI and pain reduction in IBD. There was a significant increase in functional connectivity after active tDCS within the visual medial and the right frontoparietal network being connected with the amygdala, the insula, and the primary somatosensory cortex indicating central pain mechanisms in IBD. Moreover, tDCS offers a novel therapeutic strategy for abdominal pain.

PMID: 30905546 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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