Treatment of orofacial pain by using tDCS

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The treatment of orofacial pain by using transcranial direct current stimulation.

Physiol Res. 2019 Dec 20;68(Supplementum 3):S367-S372

Authors: Fricová J, Englerová K, Nedvídek J, Rokyta R

Neurostimulation methods are used in the treatment of chronic pain, although mainly for pharmacology resistant pain. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive neurostimulation method using low direct current (0.029-0.08 mA/cm2) applied to a cathode and anode, which directly stimulates the cranial surface. The applied current causes the most significant changes directly under the electrodes: the cathode reduces the excitability of cortical neurons, whereas the anode increases excitability. The effect of stimulation usually lasts a few hours up to a few days. We observed 19 patients with chronic orofacial pain. Inclusion criteria for the study were the following: orofacial pain, stable analgesic medication for at least one week before the beginning of stimulation and during its course, and age 18-75 years old. Patients with severe organic brain damage or seizure disease (epilepsy) were not included. The most common diagnosis was secondary trigeminal neuralgia after dental surgery. We measured thermal and tactile stimulation on the face before and after tDCS, then at 14 days. The total follow-up period lasted six months. We evaluated pain on a numerical scale (0-10) at each follow-up. We used sets of inventories focused on the examination of pain (a short form of McGill inventory), depression, anxiety, and pain interference with daily activities. tDCS is a non-invasive stimulation technique that is affordable and can be easily administered, especially when compared to other neurostimulation techniques. Only 15 patients out of the total number of 19 responded to the questionnaires.

PMID: 31928055 [PubMed – in process]

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