Neuroelectric source imaging of steady-state movement-related cortical potentials in human upper extremity amputees with and without phantom limb pain

Anke Karl, Werner Mühlnickel, Ralf Kurth, Herta Flor
2004 Pain  
Whereas several studies reported a close relationship between changes in the somatotopic organization of primary somatosensory cortex and phantom limb pain, the relationship between alterations in the motor cortex and amputation-related phenomena has not yet been explored in detail. This study used steady-state movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) combined with neuroelectric source imaging to assess the relationship of changes in motor cortex and amputation-related phenomena such as
more » ... ful and non-painful phantom and residual limb sensations, telescoping, and prosthesis use. Eight upper limb amputees were investigated. A significant positive relationship between reorganization of the motor cortex (distance of the MRCP source location from the mirrored source for hand movement) and phantom limb pain was found. Non-painful phantom sensations as well as painful and non-painful residual limb sensations were unrelated to motor cortical reorganization. A higher amount of motor reorganization was associated with less daily prosthesis use, which also tended to be related to more severe phantom limb pain. These results extend previous findings of a positive relationship between somatosensory reorganization and phantom limb pain to the motor domain and suggest a potential positive effect of prosthesis use on phantom limb pain and cortical reorganization.
doi:10.1016/j.pain.2004.03.013 pmid:15275756 fatcat:dzoshypdzvdtro3ncyn2x6p6ai