Virtual Pain Stimulation of Allodynia Patients Activates Cortical Representation of Pain and Emotions: A Functional MRI Study
The present study investigated neural correlates of affect processing in allodynia patients (n=8) and healthy controls (n=12) with the aid of virtual tactile stimulation. Whole brain functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed for allodynia patients and healthy volunteers while they were shown a video demonstrating light stimulation of the palm and another stimulation aimed at producing anticipation of palm stimulation. Contrasting with controls, patients displayed activation of the cortical areas related to pain and emotions: prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area BA 10) and anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24). These findings may indicate involvement of an emotional component of pain perception in all odynia patients.
Key words:Allodynia fMRI Virtual tactile stimulation Pain Emotions
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