Motor Cortex Stimulation

Motor cortex stimulation is a treatment options for patients with treatment resistant depression pain. While motor cortex stimulation cannot cure pain, it can provide the significant relief that the patient needs to make the issue manageable.

How Does it Work?

Motor cortex stimulation is a form of neuromodulation, which is a class of procedures that involve placing electrode in or on the brain and stimulating the brain to change its function. In the case of motor cortex stimulation, the electrodes are placed on the surface of the brain. The electrodes help to control pain signals being sent to the brain. While the procedure has been shown to be effective, it has not yet been approved by the FDA.  As a result, not all insurance companies will pay for this procedure.

Am I A Good Candidate?

Motor cortex stimulation is a treatment option for individuals who have not found relief through other treatment options. In particular, individuals who suffer from post-stroke pain and atypical varieties of trigeminal neuralgia can benefit from motor cortex stimulation

The Procedure

Motor cortex stimulation is a two stage procedure.

  • Stage one – Prior to the procedure, a detailed MRI will be taken of the brain. This MRI will be used to precisely plot the areas of the brain that will be targeted during the second stage.
  • Stage two – The patient will be anesthetized and the neurosurgeon will precisely implant the electrodes using the detailed images of the brain taken prior to the surgery as a roadmap. During the surgery, additional testing is done, including recording from the brain as nerves in the arm are stimulated and directly stimulating the brain to make sure the electrodes are placed over the motor cortex.

After implantation, it can take a period of six months for the patient to receive the full benefits of motor cortex stimulation. Roughly 30-50% of patients who undergo motor cortex stimulation experience relief form their chronic pain.

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