Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether training with a brain-computer interface (BCI) to control an image of a phantom hand, which moves based on cortical currents estimated from magnetoencephalographic signals, reduces phantom limb pain. METHODS: Twelve patients with chronic phantom limb pain of the upper limb due to amputation or brachial plexus root avulsion participated in a randomized single-blinded crossover trial. Patients were trained to move the virtual hand image controlled by the BCI with a real decoder, which was constructed to classify intact hand movements from motor cortical currents, by moving their phantom hands for 3 days ("real training"). Pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS) before and after training, and at follow-up for an additional 16 days. As a control, patients engaged in the training with the same hand image controlled by randomly changing values ("random training"). The 2 trainings were randomly assigned to the patients. This trial is registered at UMIN-CTR (UMIN000013608). RESULTS: VAS at day 4 was significantly reduced from the baseline after real training (mean [SD], 45.3 [24.2]-30.9 [20.6], 1/100 mm; p = 0.009 < 0.025), but not after random training (p = 0.047 > 0.025). Compared to VAS at day 1, VAS at days 4 and 8 was significantly reduced by 32% and 36%, respectively, after real training and was significantly lower than VAS after random training (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Three-day training to move the hand images controlled by BCI significantly reduced pain for 1 week. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class III evidence that BCI reduces phantom limb pain.

Original publication

DOI

10.1212/WNL.0000000000009858

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neurology

Publication Date

28/07/2020

Volume

95

Pages

e417 - e426

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Cross-Over Studies, Hand, Humans, Imagination, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Middle Aged, Motor Cortex, Movement, Phantom Limb, Robotics