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Association of pain and CNS structural changes after spinal cord injury

Jutzeler, CR; Huber, E; Callaghan, MF; Luechinger, R; Curt, A; Kramer, JL; Freund, P; (2016) Association of pain and CNS structural changes after spinal cord injury. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 18534. 10.1038/srep18534. Green open access

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Abstract

Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) has been shown to trigger structural atrophic changes within the spinal cord and brain. However, the relationship between structural changes and magnitude of neuropathic pain (NP) remains incompletely understood. Voxel-wise analysis of anatomical magnetic resonance imaging data provided information on cross-sectional cervical cord area and volumetric brain changes in 30 individuals with chronic traumatic SCI and 31 healthy controls. Participants were clinically assessed including neurological examination and pain questionnaire. Compared to controls, individuals with SCI exhibited decreased cord area, reduced grey matter (GM) volumes in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), left insula, left secondary somatosensory cortex, bilateral thalamus, and decreased white matter volumes in pyramids and left internal capsule. The presence of NP was related with smaller cord area, increased GM in left ACC and right M1, and decreased GM in right primary somatosensory cortex and thalamus. Greater GM volume in M1 was associated with amount of NP. Below-level NP-associated structural changes in the spinal cord and brain can be discerned from trauma-induced consequences of SCI. The directionality of these relationships reveals specific changes across the neuroaxis (i.e., atrophic changes versus increases in volume) and may provide substrates of underlying neural mechanisms in the development of NP.

Type: Article
Title: Association of pain and CNS structural changes after spinal cord injury
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep18534
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep18534
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1479422
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