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Peripheral Electrical Stimulation Modulates Cortical Beta-Band Activity


Arendsen, Laura J; Guggenberger, Robert; Zimmer, Manuela; Weigl, Tobias; Gharabaghi, Alireza (2021). Peripheral Electrical Stimulation Modulates Cortical Beta-Band Activity. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 15:632234.

Abstract

Low-frequency peripheral electrical stimulation using a matrix electrode (PEMS) modulates spinal nociceptive pathways. However, the effects of this intervention on cortical oscillatory activity have not been assessed yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of low-frequency PEMS (4 Hz) on cortical oscillatory activity in different brain states in healthy pain-free participants. In experiment 1, PEMS was compared to sham stimulation. In experiment 2, motor imagery (MI) was used to modulate the sensorimotor brain state. PEMS was applied either during MI-induced oscillatory desynchronization (concurrent PEMS) or after MI (delayed PEMS) in a cross-over design. For both experiments, PEMS was applied on the left forearm and resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) was recording before and after each stimulation condition. Experiment 1 showed a significant decrease of global resting-state beta power after PEMS compared to sham (p = 0.016), with a median change from baseline of -16% for PEMS and -0.54% for sham. A cluster-based permutation test showed a significant difference in resting-state beta power comparing pre- and post-PEMS (p = 0.018) that was most pronounced over bilateral central and left frontal sensors. Experiment 2 did not identify a significant difference in the change from baseline of global EEG power for concurrent PEMS compared to delayed PEMS. Two cluster-based permutation tests suggested that frontal beta power may be increased following both concurrent and delayed PEMS. This study provides novel evidence for supraspinal effects of low-frequency PEMS and an initial indication that the presence of a cognitive task such as MI may influence the effects of PEMS on beta activity. Chronic pain has been associated with changes in beta activity, in particular an increase of beta power in frontal regions. Thus, brain state-dependent PEMS may offer a novel approach to the treatment of chronic pain. However, further studies are warranted to investigate optimal stimulation conditions to achieve a reduction of pain.

Abstract

Low-frequency peripheral electrical stimulation using a matrix electrode (PEMS) modulates spinal nociceptive pathways. However, the effects of this intervention on cortical oscillatory activity have not been assessed yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of low-frequency PEMS (4 Hz) on cortical oscillatory activity in different brain states in healthy pain-free participants. In experiment 1, PEMS was compared to sham stimulation. In experiment 2, motor imagery (MI) was used to modulate the sensorimotor brain state. PEMS was applied either during MI-induced oscillatory desynchronization (concurrent PEMS) or after MI (delayed PEMS) in a cross-over design. For both experiments, PEMS was applied on the left forearm and resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) was recording before and after each stimulation condition. Experiment 1 showed a significant decrease of global resting-state beta power after PEMS compared to sham (p = 0.016), with a median change from baseline of -16% for PEMS and -0.54% for sham. A cluster-based permutation test showed a significant difference in resting-state beta power comparing pre- and post-PEMS (p = 0.018) that was most pronounced over bilateral central and left frontal sensors. Experiment 2 did not identify a significant difference in the change from baseline of global EEG power for concurrent PEMS compared to delayed PEMS. Two cluster-based permutation tests suggested that frontal beta power may be increased following both concurrent and delayed PEMS. This study provides novel evidence for supraspinal effects of low-frequency PEMS and an initial indication that the presence of a cognitive task such as MI may influence the effects of PEMS on beta activity. Chronic pain has been associated with changes in beta activity, in particular an increase of beta power in frontal regions. Thus, brain state-dependent PEMS may offer a novel approach to the treatment of chronic pain. However, further studies are warranted to investigate optimal stimulation conditions to achieve a reduction of pain.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:16 Jun 2021 10:03
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:40
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-453X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.632234
PubMed ID:33867919
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)