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Breathing-controlled electrical stimulation could modify the affective component of neuropathic pain after amputation: a case report

Authors Li S, Melton D, Berliner

Received 20 February 2012

Accepted for publication 9 March 2012

Published 12 April 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 71—75


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Sheng Li1,2, Danielle H Melton1, Jeffrey C Berliner1
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Medical School – Houston, Houston, TX; 2UTHealth Motor Recovery Laboratory, Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: In this case, a 31-year-old male suffered phantom neuropathic pain for more than 3 years after an above-the-knee amputation. His shooting phantom pain disappeared after the first session of breathing-controlled electrical stimulation, and reappeared or was triggered 28 days after an experimental error during which he received sustained electrical stimulation. In other words, painful shooting stimuli may not have been “cured” but forgotten and retriggered by a fearful event due to the experimental error. Therefore, this accidental finding provides a unique opportunity to understand sensory and affective components of neuropathic pain, and a novel intervention could modify the affective component of it.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, amputation, electrical stimulation, voluntary breathing

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