Guest lecture by Dr. Sam Hughes.
Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London
Title: ACTIVATING ENDOGENOUS ANALGESIA WITH NON-INVASIVE BRAIN STIMULATION: IS THE SPINAL CORD INVOLVED?
Dr Hughes gained a PhD in endogenous pain control from the University of Bristol in 2015. In 2016, he joined the MSk Lab in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. His research focuses on understanding central pain processing in human experimental pain models and in sciatica patients. Sam is particularly interested in understanding mechanisms of non-invasive brain stimulation and how it may be useful in the treatment of persistent radicular pain.
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can be used as tools to study the activity within endogenous analgesic pathways in the brain and brainstem. Interestingly, tDCS has little or effect on acute pain perception but has shown promise in the treatment of some chronic pain conditions. Despite this, little is known about whether activation of cortical regions can engage descending inhibitory pathways involved in the modulation of altered spinal cord nociceptive processing in humans. This presentation will discuss recent efforts to measure the top-down analgesic effects of different non-invasive brain stimulation techniques on changes in spinal cord excitability in healthy volunteers using a combination of psychophysical and neurophysiological approaches.
Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen, DMSc, PhD
Director of Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP)