Neuroimaging of Neuropathic Pain: Review of Current Status and Future Directions

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Neuroscience of Pain".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (11 September 2022) | Viewed by 6659

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, B6/319 CSC, Madison, WI 53792-3272, USA
Interests: pain; discogenic pain; knee degenerative disease
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Neuropathic pain is a debilitating condition that can lead to disability. Diagnosis of neuropathic pain can be challenging and difficult to achieve.

A group of cortical and subcortical regions show abnormalities when a patient has neuropathic pain. Those changes can be detected using new technologies called neuroimaging.

Neuroimaging for neuropathic pain is a growing area of study. Neuropathic pain is associated with changes in different neuroimaging modalities and it is important to understand these modalities and their utilization in clinical practice.

We aim to discuss the most recent evidence related to neuroimaging for neuropathic pain and solicit original research articles on the most recent cutting-edge evidence, as well as welcoming submission of review articles and metanalyses. 

Dr. Alaa Abd-Elsayed
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • neuroimaging
  • neuropathic pain
  • pain
  • neuropathy
  • MRI

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 1548 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Brain Metabolism Associated with Central Post-Stroke Pain in Hemorrhagic Pontine Stroke: An 18F-FDG-PET Study of the Brain
by Soo-jin Choi, Na-young Kim, Jun-yup Kim, Young-sil An and Yong-wook Kim
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(7), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12070837 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Central post-stroke pain (CPSP) is an intractable neuropathic pain that can occur following central nervous system injuries. Spino-thalamo-cortical pathway damage contributes to CPSP development. However, brain regions involved in CPSP are unknown and previous studies were limited to supratentorial strokes with cortical lesion [...] Read more.
Central post-stroke pain (CPSP) is an intractable neuropathic pain that can occur following central nervous system injuries. Spino-thalamo-cortical pathway damage contributes to CPSP development. However, brain regions involved in CPSP are unknown and previous studies were limited to supratentorial strokes with cortical lesion involvement. We analyzed the brain metabolism changes associated with CPSP following pontine hemorrhage. Thirty-two patients with isolated pontine hemorrhage were examined; 14 had CPSP, while 18 did not. Brain glucose metabolism was evaluated using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography images. Additionally, regions revealing metabolic correlation with CPSP severity were analyzed. Patients with CPSP showed changes in the brain metabolism in the cerebral cortices and cerebellum. Compared with the control group, the CPSP group showed significant hypometabolism in the contralesional rostral anterior cingulum and ipsilesional primary motor cortex (Puncorrected < 0.001). However, increased brain metabolism was observed in the ipsilesional cerebellum (VI) and contralesional cerebellum (lobule VIIB) (Puncorrected < 0.001). Moreover, increased pain intensity correlated with decreased metabolism in the ipsilesional supplementary motor area and contralesional angular gyrus. This study emphasizes the role of the many different areas of the cortex that are involved in affective and cognitive processing in the development of CPSP. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 679 KiB  
Review
Review of the Treatments for Central Neuropathic Pain
by Breanna L. Sheldon, Zachary T. Olmsted, Shelby Sabourin, Ehsaun Heydari, Tessa A. Harland and Julie G. Pilitsis
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(12), 1727; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12121727 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Central neuropathic pain (CNP) affects millions worldwide, with an estimated prevalence of around 10% globally. Although there are a wide variety of treatment options available, due to the complex and multidimensional nature in which CNP arises and presents symptomatically, many patients still experience [...] Read more.
Central neuropathic pain (CNP) affects millions worldwide, with an estimated prevalence of around 10% globally. Although there are a wide variety of treatment options available, due to the complex and multidimensional nature in which CNP arises and presents symptomatically, many patients still experience painful symptoms. Pharmaceutical, surgical, non-invasive, cognitive and combination treatment options offer a generalized starting point for alleviating symptoms; however, a more customized approach may provide greater benefit. Here, we comment on the current treatment options that exist for CNP and further suggest the need for additional research regarding the use of biomarkers to help individualize treatment options for patients. Full article
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Other

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8 pages, 228 KiB  
Perspective
Early Detection of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy by fMRI: An Evidence-Based Review
by Ahish Chitneni, Adam Rupp, Joe Ghorayeb and Alaa Abd-Elsayed
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(5), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12050557 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2095
Abstract
With the significant rise in the prevalence of diabetes worldwide, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) remains the most common complication among type 1 and 2 diabetics. The adverse sequelae of DPN, which include neuropathic pain, diabetic foot ulcers and lower-limb amputations, significantly impact quality [...] Read more.
With the significant rise in the prevalence of diabetes worldwide, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) remains the most common complication among type 1 and 2 diabetics. The adverse sequelae of DPN, which include neuropathic pain, diabetic foot ulcers and lower-limb amputations, significantly impact quality of life and are major contributors to the biopsychosocial and economic burden of diabetes at the individual, societal and health system levels. Because DPN is often diagnosed in the late stages of disease progression by electromyography (EMG), and neuropathic pain as a result of DPN is difficult to treat, the need for earlier detection is crucial to better ascertain and manage the condition. Among the various modalities available to aid in the early detection of DPN, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has emerged as a practical tool in DPN imaging due to its noninvasive radiation-free nature and its ability to relate real-time functional changes reflecting the local oxygen consumption of regions of the CNS due to external stimuli. This review aims to summarize the current body of knowledge regarding the utility of fMRI in detecting DPN by observing central nervous system (CNS) activity changes among individuals with DPN when compared to controls. The evidence to date points toward a tendency for increased activity in various central neuroanatomical structures that can be detected by fMRI and positively correlates with diabetic neuropathic pain. Full article
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