Chronic Pain and Brain Activity in Spinal Cord Injury

2014-08-27 03:18:02 | BioPortfolio


This study compares five different procedures to see how they affect pain and brain activity. The procedures include neurofeedback, self-hypnosis training, meditation, and two different levels of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Subjects will be compensated for their time.


During the first study visit, subjects will receive a physical exam and an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures brain activity. Research staff will put a cap on your head that has sensors which measure your brain activity. There is no risk of electrical shock. In addition to the sensors in the cap, two clips will be put on your ears. EEG activity will be collected for 20 minutes: you will have your eyes open for ten minutes, and then have your eyes closed for ten minutes.

Additional study visits will follow where we will perform five different procedures (neurofeedback, self-hypnosis, two levels of transcranial direct current stimulation, and meditation). All subjects will receive all five procedures and each procedure will be conducted for 20 minutes.

Self-Hypnosis Training: During this procedure, you will be given verbal suggestions from an audio recording (via headphones) for relaxation and changes in the way you think about pain.

Meditation: During this procedure you will be asked to focus on a single word ("one") for the entire session.

Neurofeedback Training: During this procedure, three sensors will be placed on your scalp, and one on each earlobe. A small amount of electrode paste will be used when placing the sensor on your scalp. After the session, study personnel will remove the sensor and clean off the paste with an alcohol wipe. There is no risk of electrical shock. You will be able to see images on a computer screen that correspond to your brain waves. You will learn how to change your brainwaves by changing the images on the computer.

Electric Stimulation (two different levels): This procedure consists of direct stimulation of the brain by a weak electrical current. The two procedure sessions will differ in the characteristics of the stimulation. Two electrodes will be placed on your scalp and secured by a rubber strap. The tDCS procedure is considered experimental and is not currently approved by the FDA but has been studied previously, at the same level of current, in spinal cord injury.

Before and after each procedure we will complete an EEG assessment as described above. The final procedure session will end with a 20 minute assessment to determine how responsive you are to hypnosis. Each procedure visits may last up to three hours. There will be a total of 6 study visits over approximately 2 months.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Spinal Cord Injury


Hypnosis, Meditation, Neurofeedback training, Two different levels of tDCS


University of Washington
United States




University of Washington

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:18:02-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A state of consciousness in which the individual eliminates environmental stimuli from awareness so that the mind can focus on a single thing, producing a state of relaxation and relief from stress. A wide variety of techniques are used to clear the mind of stressful outside interferences. It includes meditation therapy. (Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary, 4th ed)

Longitudinal cavities in the spinal cord, most often in the cervical region, which may extend for multiple spinal levels. The cavities are lined by dense, gliogenous tissue and may be associated with SPINAL CORD NEOPLASMS; spinal cord traumatic injuries; and vascular malformations. Syringomyelia is marked clinically by pain and PARESTHESIA, muscular atrophy of the hands, and analgesia with thermoanesthesia of the hands and arms, but with the tactile sense preserved (sensory dissociation). Lower extremity spasticity and incontinence may also develop. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1269)

Financial support for training including both student stipends and loans and training grants to institutions.

The training or bringing-up of children by parents or parent-substitutes. It is used also for child rearing practices in different societies, at different economic levels, in different ethnic groups, etc. It differs from PARENTING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the child and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

The 31 paired peripheral nerves formed by the union of the dorsal and ventral spinal roots from each spinal cord segment. The spinal nerve plexuses and the spinal roots are also included.

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