The clinical utility of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in reducing the risks of transitioning from acute to chronic pain in traumatically injured patients
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofProgress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry ; vol. 87, no. B, pp. 322-331.
Pain is a multifaceted condition and a major ongoing challenge for healthcare professionals having to treat patients in whom pain put them at risk of developing other conditions. Significant efforts have been invested in both clinical and research settings in an attempt to demystify the mechanisms at stake and develop optimal treatments as well as to reduce individual and societal costs. It is now universally accepted that neuroinflammation and central sensitization are two key underlying factors causing pain chronification as they result from maladaptive central nervous system plasticity. Recent research has shown that the mechanisms of action of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) make it a particularly promising avenue in treating various pain conditions. This review will first discuss the contribution of neuroinflammation and central sensitization in the transition from acute to chronic pain in traumatically injured patients. A detailed discussion on how rTMS may allow the restoration from maladaptive plasticity in addition to breaking down the chain of events leading to pain chronification will follow. Lastly, this review will provide a theoretical framework of what might constitute optimal rTMS modalities in dealing with pain symptoms in traumatically injured patients based on an integrated perspective of the physiopathological mechanisms underlying pain.