Central nervous system stimulation therapies in phantom limb pain: a systematic review of clinical trials.
Garcia-Pallero MÁ, Cardona D, Rueda-Ruzafa L, Rodriguez-Arrastia M, Roman P.
Neural regeneration research. 2022; 17(1): 59-64

Abstract

Phantom limb pain is a chronic pain syndrome that is difficult to cope with. Despite neurostimulation treatment is indicated for refractory neuropathic pain, there is scant evidence from randomized controlled trials to recommend it as the treatment choice. Thus, a systematic review was performed to analyze the efficacy of central nervous system stimulation therapies as a strategy for pain management in patients with phantom limb pain. A literature search for studies conducted between 1970 and September 2020 was carried out using the MEDLINE and Embase databases. Principles of The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guideline were followed. There were a total of 10 full-text articles retrieved and included in this review. Deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, and motor cortex stimulation were the treatment strategies used in the selected clinical trials. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation were effective therapies to reduce pain perception, as well as to relieve anxiety and depression symptoms in phantom limb pain patients. Conversely, invasive approaches were considered the last treatment option as evidence in deep brain stimulation and motor cortex stimulation suggests that the value of phantom limb pain treatment remains controversial. However, the findings on use of these treatment strategies in other forms of neuropathic pain suggest that these invasive approaches could be a potential option for phantom limb pain patients.



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