Electroencephalography Based Neurofeedback in Chronic Neuropathic Pain

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01560039
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified March 2012 by Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
First Posted : March 21, 2012
Last Update Posted : March 21, 2012
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center

Brief Summary:

Chronic neuropathic pain is a global health concern, affecting millions of patients worldwide. It is often extremely debilitating and poses a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. The current mainstay of treatment is pharmacotherapy consisting of powerful analgesics combined with different classes of drugs that change nerve cell membrane properties. However, response to pharmacotherapy is often poor and mandates interventional strategies. Among the latest and most promising interventional strategies is the use of neurostimulation to targeted brain areas, specifically the primary motor cortex . Motor cortex stimulation , both invasive and noninvasive (using megnetic or electical stimulation), has emerged as a highly beneficial treatment, and is currently included in different professional guidelines for the treatment of medically refractory neuropathic pain.

A possible alternative way to achieve stimulation of the motor cortex is by using EEG based neurofeedback. This design, which is actually a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) enables the patient to voluntarily modulate the activity of a circumscribed brain area after a few training sessions. While EEG based neurofeedfback is decades old, it has never been tested in neuropathic pain patients.

This experiment is intended to compare both the clinical effects and the brain correlates of a BCI based self modulation of M1 activity and of exogenous magnetic brain stimulation in a population of patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain of an upper limb. 15 such patients will receive a course of 10 daily magnetic stimulation sessions with stimulation of M1 as described in the literature. A further 30 patients will be divided into two groups: 15 will perform a course of 10 real BCI neurofeedback sessions modulating motor cortex activity and 15 will perform a course of 10 sham neurofeedback sessions. The participants' baseline chronic pain levels and their response to acute painful stimuli will be clinically evaluated before and after the course, and for an additional 1 month. Furthermore, before and after the course patients will be scanned using functional MRI during rest (baseline pain levels) and during acute pain. These scans are performed both to describe the neural correlates of the analgesia induced by motor cortex magnetic stimulation , and to compare the observed networks to the network effect of a BCI neurofeedback modulation of motor cortex activity.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Neuropathic Pain Device: TMS Other: Neurofeedback Other: Sham neurofeedback Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Voluntary Modulation of M1 Motor Cortex Activity Using EEG Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Resistant Chronic Neuropathic Pain - a Clinical and fMRI Study
Study Start Date : April 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date : April 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date : April 2014

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Real EEG-NF
10 EEG based neurofeedback sessions modulating the activity of the primary motor cortex
Other: Neurofeedback
EEG neurofeedback based on the primary motor cortex
Sham Comparator: Sham EEG-NF
10 sessions of Sham EEG_NF of the motor cortex area
Other: Sham neurofeedback
Sham EEG neurofeedback
Active Comparator: Transcrainal Magnetic Stimulation
10 dailt TMS stimulation sessions of M1
Device: TMS
Transcranial magentic stimulation of the motor cortex. Device Details : Model is Magstim TMS Rapid. Manufacturer : MAGSTIM CO LTD. Spring Gardens, Whitland, Carmarthenshire, Wales, U.K., SA34 0HR

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. daily pain levels [ Time Frame: during three weeks of treatments ]
    daily pain levels will be assessed using a visual assessment score (VAS) during the treament phase (lasting aproximately 3 weeks)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Daily pain measures for one month following the last session [ Time Frame: one month following the last treatment session ]
    Daily pain scores based on the VAS (visual-analogue scale) system will be assessed for a further one month following the last treatment session.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18-65 years old, treated medically for neuropathic pain of an upper arm with unsatisfactory results (average daily VAS score over 4)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Cognitive decline,
  • malignant disease,
  • focal neurological deficit,
  • illegal substance abuse
  • noncompliance with medical therapy or follow up.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01560039

Contact: Haggai Sharon, MD 972-3-6973953

Functional Brain Center, Sourasky Medical Center Not yet recruiting
Tel Aviv, Israel
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Study Director: Talma Hendler, MD, PhD Sourasky Medical Center

Responsible Party: Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center Identifier: NCT01560039     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TASMS-12-HS-0577-11-TLV-CTIL
First Posted: March 21, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 21, 2012
Last Verified: March 2012

Keywords provided by Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center:
Neuropathic pain

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Signs and Symptoms