Deep brain stimulation of the anterior cingulate cortex: targeting the affective component of chronic pain.
Boccard SGJ., Pereira EAC., Moir L., Van Hartevelt TJ., Kringelbach ML., FitzGerald JJ., Baker IW., Green AL., Aziz TZ.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown promise for relieving nociceptive and neuropathic symptoms of refractory chronic pain. We assessed the efficacy of a new target for the affective component of pain, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). A 49-year-old man with neuropathic pain underwent bilateral ACC DBS. Patient-reported outcome measures were collected before and 2 years after surgery using a Visual Analogue Scale, Short-Form 36 quality of life survey, McGill pain questionnaire, EuroQol-5D questionnaires (EQ-5D; Health State) and neuropsychological assessments. The patient improved with DBS. Two years after surgery, the Visual Analogue Scale decreased from 6.7 to 3.0, McGill pain questionnaire improved by 42% and EQ-5D Health State increased by 150%. Stimulating the ACC at 130 Hz, 330 µs and 3 V facilitated neuropathic pain relief. The DBS remained efficacious during the 2-year follow-up period. Affective ACC DBS can relieve chronic neuropathic pain refractory to pharmacotherapy and restore quality of life.