The field of spinal cord stimulation is expanding rapidly, with new waveform paradigms asserting supraspinal sites of action. The scope of treatment applications is also broadening from chronic pain to include cerebral ischemia, dystonia, tremor, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, memory, addiction, cognitive function, and other neurologic diseases. The role of neurostimulation as an alternative strategy to opioids for chronic pain treatment is under robust discussion in both scientific and public forums. An understanding of the supraspinal mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of spinal cord stimulation will aid in the appropriate application and development of optimal stimulation strategies for modulating pain signaling pathways. In this review, the authors focus on clinical and preclinical studies that indicate the role of supraspinal mechanisms in spinal cord stimulation-induced pain inhibition, and explore directions for future investigations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine