Oscillatory neural representations in the sensory thalamus predict neuropathic pain relief by deep brain stimulation.
Huang Y., Green AL., Hyam J., Fitzgerald J., Aziz TZ., Wang S.
OBJECTIVE: Understanding the function of sensory thalamic neural activity is essential for developing and improving interventions for neuropathic pain. However, there is a lack of investigation of the relationship between sensory thalamic oscillations and pain relief in patients with neuropathic pain. This study aims to identify the oscillatory neural characteristics correlated with pain relief induced by deep brain stimulation (DBS), and develop a quantitative model to predict pain relief by integrating characteristic measures of the neural oscillations. APPROACH: Measures of sensory thalamic local field potentials (LFPs) in thirteen patients with neuropathic pain were screened in three dimensional feature space according to the rhythm, balancing, and coupling neural behaviours, and correlated with pain relief. An integrated approach based on principal component analysis (PCA) and multiple regression analysis is proposed to integrate the multiple measures and provide a predictive model. MAIN RESULTS: This study reveals distinct thalamic rhythms of theta, alpha, high beta and high gamma oscillations correlating with pain relief. The balancing and coupling measures between these neural oscillations were also significantly correlated with pain relief. SIGNIFICANCE: The study enriches the series research on the function of thalamic neural oscillations in neuropathic pain and relief, and provides a quantitative approach for predicting pain relief by DBS using thalamic neural oscillations.