We analyzed the effects of spinal cord stimulation (SCS), deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamic nucleus ventralis caudalis (VC) and motor cortex stimulation (MCS) in 45 patients with post-stroke pain. Satisfactory pain control was obtained more frequently as the stimulation site was moved to higher levels (7% by SCS, 25% by DBS and 48% by MCS). A painful sensation was sometimes produced by stimulation of the VC as well as the post-central, pre-central and pre-frontal cortices. Such a sensation occurred less frequently as the stimulation site was moved to higher levels (50% at the VC, 39% at the post-central cortex, 6% at the pre-central cortex and 3% at the pre-frontal cortex). These findings imply that abnormal processing of nociceptive information develops at the level of deafferentation and spreads to higher levels to a varying extent. This may be one of the reasons why satisfactory pain control was obtained more frequently as the stimulation site was moved to higher levels.

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