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Differential efficiency of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in dominant versus nondominant hands in fibromyalgia: placebo-controlled functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

Baltaci, Aysegul
Gökçay, Didem
Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), modulation of hemodynamic responses by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) during delivery of nociceptive stimulation was investigated in fibromyalgia (FM) patients and healthy controls for both hands. Two experiments were conducted: (1) median nerve stimulation with TENS and (2) painful stimulation using electronic von Frey filaments with TENS/placebo TENS. Mean Delta HbO(2) brain activity was compared across groups and conditions using factorial ANOVA. Dominant (right) hand stimulation indicated significant interactions between group and condition in both hemispheres. Post hoc results revealed that FM patients showed an increased activation in "pain + TENS" condition compared to the "pain + placebo TENS" condition while the brain activity patterns for these conditions in controls were reversed. Left-hand stimulation resulted in similar TENS effects (reduced activation for "pain + TENS" than " pain + placebo TENS") in both groups. TENS effects in FM patients might be manipulated by the stimulation side. While the nondominant hand was responsive to TENS treatment, the dominant hand was not. These results indicate that stimulation side might be an effective factor in FM treatment by using TENS. Future studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanism for these findings. (c) 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).