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Neurochemical Analysis of Primary Motor Cortex in Chronic Low Back Pain

Author(s): Neena K. Sharma | William M. Brooks | Anda E. Popescu | Linda VanDillen | Steven Z. George | Kenneth E. McCarson | Byron J. Gajewski | Patrick Gorman | Carmen M. Cirstea

Journal: Brain Sciences
ISSN 2076-3425

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 319;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: chronic low back pain | primary motor cortex | magnetic resonance spectroscopy | N-acetylaspartate | myo-inositol

The involvement of the primary motor cortex (M1) in chronic low back pain (LBP) is a relatively new concept. Decreased M1 excitability and an analgesic effect after M1 stimulation have been recently reported. However, the neurochemical changes underlying these functional M1 changes are unknown. The current study investigated whether neurochemicals specific to neurons and glial cells in both right and left M1 are altered. N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) and myo-inositol (mI) were measured with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 19 subjects with chronic LBP and 14 healthy controls. We also examined correlations among neurochemicals within and between M1 and relationships between neurochemical concentrations and clinical features of pain. Right M1 NAA was lower in subjects with LBP compared to controls (p = 0.008). Left M1 NAA and mI were not significantly different between LBP and control groups. Correlations between neurochemical concentrations across M1s were different between groups (p = 0.008). There were no significant correlations between M1 neurochemicals and pain characteristics. These findings provide preliminary evidence of neuronal depression and altered neuronal-glial interactions across M1 in chronic LBP.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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