Moderate to severe acute pain disturbs motor cortex intracortical inhibition and facilitation in orthopedic trauma patients : a TMS study
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofPLoS one ; vol. 15, no. 3.
Publisher(s)Public library of science
Objective Primary motor (M1) cortical excitability alterations are involved in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Less is known about M1-cortical excitability implications in the acute phase of an orthopedic trauma. This study aims to assess acute M1-cortical excitability in patients with an isolated upper limb fracture (IULF) in relation to pain intensity. Methods Eighty-four (56 IULF patients <14 days post-trauma and 28 healthy controls). IULF patients were divided into two subgroups according to pain intensity (mild versus moderate to severe pain). A single transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) session was performed over M1 to compare groups on resting motor threshold (rMT), short-intracortical inhibition (SICI), intracortical facilitation (ICF), and long-interval cortical inhibition (LICI). Results Reduced SICI and ICF were found in IULF patients with moderate to severe pain, whereas mild pain was not associated with M1 alterations. Age, sex, and time since the accident had no influence on TMS measures. Discussion These findings show altered M1 in the context of acute moderate to severe pain, suggesting early signs of altered GABAergic inhibitory and glutamatergic facilitatory activities.