Research Articles

Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the brain: guidelines for pain treatment research

This review from 2015 discusses the current literature on TMS for the use of treating pain with the aim of determining how to improve research and build towards FDA approval of the protocols. While treatment is currently possible without this, official approval by the FDA may help facilitate the production of improved equipment and introduction of insurance policies, resulting in reduced treatment costs. Therefore the article, written by a team of experts in the TMS and chronic pain fields, discusses the guidelines and recommendations for the future research of pain treatment and TMS.

The paper includes an overview of the current knowledge on the use of TMS for pain treatment, and the efficacy of current treatment protocols on various pain conditions (including central pain from brain or spinal cord lesions, neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, and more). The authors then provide a thorough discussion on the design of research studies investigating pain and TMS, and possible aspects of improvement to be considered in the future. The paper shows the valuable benefits possible from using TMS to manage pain conditions, and provides an important perspective for researchers to follow to standardise and enhance future studies.

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