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Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation associated with aerobic exercises on pain of patients with fibromyalgia

Grant number: 12/06519-5
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2012 - July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Felipe Fregni
Grantee:Felipe Fregni
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Mariana Emerenciano de Mendonça


This study aims to determine the effect of a neuromodulation technique, using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), associated with aerobic exercises in patients with fibromyalgia. This individuals present alterations in cortical excitability that are due to plastic modification of chronic pain diseases. Consequently, many alterations can occur in the body, such as the beginning of pain symptoms, postural compensations and psychological symptoms. Taking in consideration those chronic pain patients has a systemic dysfunction, we believe that combination of therapies that can induce changing in cortical excitability patterns and improvement of physical conditioning, could lead to better results in pain alleviation e consequently in their quality of life. In this study, individuals will pass through one stage with transcranial stimulation (which consist of five consecutive days) associated with an stage of the aerobic exercises training for four weeks (with a frequency of tree times per week). tDCS will be applied positioning the anode electrode over the primary motor cortex and the cathode electrode over the supra-orbital contra-lateral area, with an intensity of 2mA for 20 minutes. The aerobic exercise will be set at an intensity of 60% of maximum heart rate. Subjects will be evaluated with regard to pain intensity, pressure pain threshold, threshold of diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC), reaction time through a go-no-no task, and evaluation of cortical excitability using magnetic stimulation. With this protocol we aimed to increase the effectiveness of chronic pain therapies and try to elucidate mechanisms of action behind this processes. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COLLANGE GRECCO, LUANDA ANDRE; CARVALHO DUARTE, NATALIA DE ALMEIDA; MENDONCA, MARIANA E.; GALLI, MANUELA; FREGNI, FELIPE; OLIVEIRA, CLAUDIA SANTOS. Effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation combined with virtual reality for improving gait in children with spastic diparetic cerebral palsy: a pilot, randomized, controlled, double-blind, clinical trial. CLINICAL REHABILITATION, v. 29, n. 12, p. 1212-1223, . (12/24019-0, 12/06519-5)
MENDONCA, MARIANA E.; SIMIS, MARCEL; GRECCO, LUANDA C.; BATTISTELLA, LINAMARA R.; BAPTISTA, ABRAHAO F.; FREGNI, FELIPE. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined with Aerobic Exercise to Optimize Analgesic Responses in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, v. 10, . (12/06519-5)
VOLZ, MAGDALENA SARAH; SUAREZ-CONTRERAS, VANESSA; SANTOS PORTILLA, ANDREA L.; ILLIGENS, BEN; BERMPOHL, FELIX; FREGNI, FELIPE. Movement observation-induced modulation of pain perception and motor cortex excitability. CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, v. 126, n. 6, p. 1204-1211, . (12/06519-5)

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