Brain networks with modified connectivity in patients with neuropathic pain and spinal cord injury

Hasan, M. A., Sattar, P., Qazi, S. A., Fraser, M. and Vuckovic, A. (2021) Brain networks with modified connectivity in patients with neuropathic pain and spinal cord injury. Clinical EEG & Neuroscience, (doi: 10.1177/15500594211051485) (PMID:34714181) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Background. Neuropathic pain (NP) following spinal cord injury (SCI) affects the quality of life of almost 40% of the injured population. The modified brain connectivity was reported under different NP conditions. Therefore, brain connectivity was studied in the SCI population with and without NP with the aim to identify networks that are altered due to injury, pain, or both. Methods. The study cohort is classified into 3 groups, SCI patients with NP, SCI patients without NP, and able-bodied. EEG of each participant was recorded during motor imagery (MI) of paralyzed and painful, and nonparalyzed and nonpainful limbs. Phased locked value was calculated using Hilbert transform to study altered functional connectivity between different regions. Results. The posterior region connectivity with frontal, fronto-central, and temporal regions is strongly decreased mainly during MI of dominant upper limb (nonparalyzed and nonpainful limbs) in SCI no pain group. This modified connectivity is prominent in the alpha and high-frequency bands (beta and gamma). Moreover, oscillatory modified global connectivity is observed in the pain group during MI of painful and paralyzed limb which is more evident between fronto-posterior, frontocentral-posterior, and within posterior and within frontal regions in the theta and SMR frequency bands. Cluster coefficient and local efficiency values are reduced in patients with no reported pain group while increased in the PWP group. Conclusion. The altered theta band connectivity found in the fronto-parietal network along with a global increase in local efficiency is a consequence of pain only, while altered connectivity in the beta and gamma bands along with a decrease in cluster coefficient values observed in the sensory-motor network is dominantly a consequence of injury only. The outcomes of this study may be used as a potential diagnostic biomarker for the NP. Further, the expected insight holds great clinical relevance in the design of neurofeedback-based neurorehabilitation and connectivity-based brain–computer interfaces for SCI patients.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the MRC grant G0902257/1, National Center of Artificial Intelligence.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vuckovic, Dr Aleksandra
Authors: Hasan, M. A., Sattar, P., Qazi, S. A., Fraser, M., and Vuckovic, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Clinical EEG & Neuroscience
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1550-0594
ISSN (Online):2169-5202
Published Online:29 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) 2021
First Published:First published in Clinical EEG & Neuroscience 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
164245Neurofeedback for treatent of neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injuryAleksandra VuckovicMedical Research Council (MRC)G0902257ENG - Biomedical Engineering