Professor Fregni is the director of a neuromodulation center where non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), are explored and developed for neurorehabilitation purposes, including chronic pain and other neurological disorders.
Since the beginning of his scientific career, Professor Felipe Fregni has focused on neurological conditions that alight in maladaptive plasticity of the brain as a form of compensation prompted by dysfunctional changes in the brain structure. Affections, such as stroke or chronic pain, are the main spotlight of Prof. Fregni research endeavours. For example, one of the common consequences of stroke is a limited recovery of the motor function. Prof. Fregni and his team aim to restore these functions and to find new pathway for rehabilitation.
On the other hand, pain is a common symptom of multiple diseases. However, when it persists for a long time, it can modify the neuronal fibers leading to a maladaptive communication among what we perceive and what our brain process. Neuropathic pain is characterized by the misinterpretation of common stimuli as pain. We aim to recover this communication with neuromodulation techniques.
Two neuromodulation techniques used in our center are transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) consists in a device that will deliver a weak and non-painful electrical current through two electrodes placed over the head. This technique can increase or decrease brain activity determined by some factors such as the location, the positive or negative energy, the time and the frequency.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a safe and painless technique. It uses a machine called magnetic stimulator. This releases a current to form a magnetic field applied close to the scalp through a plastic coil. The TMS will stimulate some areas in the brain but it can also measure the strength of the muscle twitch created by the pulse from the TMS device. Affections, such as stroke or chronic pain, are the main spotlight of Prof. Fregni research endeavours. For example, one of the common consequences of stroke is a limited recovery of the motor function. Prof. Fregni and his team aim to restore these functions and to find new pathway for rehabilitation.
The following list comprises some of his published studies from 2018 to January 2019.
1. Thibaut A, Ohrtman EA, Morales-Quezada L, Simko LC, Ryan CM, Zafonte R, et al. Distinct behavioral response of primary motor cortex stimulation in itch and pain after burn injury. Neurosci Lett. 2019 Jan 18;690:89-94.
2. O’Brien AT, El-Hagrassy MM, Rafferty H, Sanchez P, Huerta R, Chaudhari S, et al. Impact of Therapeutic Interventions on Pain Intensity and Endogenous Pain Modulation in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pain Med. 2019 Jan 5;
3. Duarte D, Castelo-Branco LEC, Uygur Kucukseymen E, Fregni F. Developing an optimized strategy with transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance the endogenous pain control system in fibromyalgia. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2018 Dec;15(12):863-73.
4. Harvey RL, Edwards D, Dunning K, Fregni F, Stein J, Laine J, et al. Randomized Sham-Controlled Trial of Navigated Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Motor Recovery in Stroke. Stroke. 2018 Sep;49(9):2138-46.
5.Carvalho S, Leite J, Pinto CB, Morse LR, Zafonte R, Fregni F. Feasibility of remotely-supervised tDCS in a person with neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2018 Sep;41(5):547-8.
6.Carvalho S, French M, Thibaut A, Lima W, Simis M, Leite J, et al. Median nerve stimulation induced motor learning in healthy adults: A study of timing of stimulation and type of learning. Eur J Neurosci. 2018 Jun 9;
7.El-Hagrassy MM, Duarte DGG, Thibaut A, Lucena MFG, Fregni F. Principles of designing a clinical trial: optimizing chances of trial success. Curr Behav Neurosci Rep. 2018 Jun;5(2):143-52.
8.Doruk D, Chanes L, Malavera A, Merabet LB, Valero-Cabré A, Fregni F. Cross-modal cueing effects of visuospatial attention on conscious somatosensory perception. Heliyon [Internet]. 2018 Apr 30 [cited 2019 Jan 11];4(4). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934691/
9.Fregni F, Macedo IC, Spezia-Adachi LN, Scarabelot VL, Laste G, Souza A, et al. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) prevents chronic stress-induced hyperalgesia in rats. Brain Stimul. 2018 Apr;11(2):299-301.
10.Pinto CB, Teixeira Costa B, Duarte D, Fregni F. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation as a Therapeutic Tool for Chronic Pain. J ECT. 2018;34(3):e36-50.
11.Carvalho S, Leite J, Jones F, Morse LR, Zafonte R, Fregni F. Study adherence in a tDCS longitudinal clinical trial with people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2018;56(5):502-8.
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