Last updated on February 2018

Effect of Noninvasive Neuromodulation on Chronic Pain


Brief description of study

  1. BACKGROUND: Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is a disease characterized by a set of signs and symptoms that may include joint noise, pain in the mastication muscles, limitation of mandibular movements, facial pain, joint pain and / or dental wear. Pain appears as a very present and striking symptom, with a tendency to chronicity. This is a difficult treatment condition often associated with psychological factors such as anxiety. Chronic pain involved modifications in the neuronal excitability, therefore, the neuromodulation withTranscranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) appears as a possible strategy for the treatment. Some studies have shown improvement in subjects with chronic pain using tDCS, however, it needs further investigation of its therapeutic effect.
  2. PROBLEM: Despite the wide range of strategies used to treat patients with TMD, some patients have a temporary and / or unsatisfactory relief response, which generates hypotheses that emotional components often underlie treatment refractoriness, and development of a memory for pain. Thus, it is evident the need for a therapy that acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS). This action can occur through medications, however, many individuals are refractory or have side effects such as dependence and / or tolerance. In this way, the importance of new treatments involving neuromodulation and neuroplasticity mechanisms, such as tDCS, is highlighted, which may become a complementary alternative to the different types of treatment already in use. Besides corroborating with the need to give preference to reversible and non-invasive procedures.
  3. HYPOTHESIS: The investigators believe that the use of anodic tDCS in the treatment of patients with TMD presenting with chronic pain will have a positive effect, promoting a decrease in painful symptoms through a Central Nervous System (neuromodulation) action in comparison to placebo stimulation. Because of the mutual influence between pain and psychological factors, it is expected that the analgesic effect will have a positive effect on anxiety levels. In addition, it is believed that a more intense analgesic effect occurs in the DLPF stimulation group of the cortex compared to the M1 stimulation group, since this region demonstrates to be responsible for the processing of the emotional component of the pain, often underlying the refractoriness to treatment
  4. AIM: To evaluate and compare the efficacy of anodic tDCS, applied in different cortical regions (M1 and DLPFC), in the pain and anxiety levels in individuals with chronic pain due muscular TMD.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03285685

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João Pessoa, Brazil
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