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Comparing Painful Stimulation vs Rest in Studies of Pain ONLINE FIRST

Christian Büchel, MD1; Stephan Geuter, PhD2; Christian Sprenger, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
2Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder
JAMA Neurol. Published online August 29, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.2989
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To the Editor A recent Research Letter in JAMA Neurology1 presented results of a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of individuals with rare loss-of-function SCN9A mutations2 that abolish sensory neuron sodium channel Nav1.7 activity, resulting in congenital pain insensitivity. The study compared brain responses to a brief pinprick stimulus between patients (n = 2) and control individuals (n = 4). The authors reported activation of areas that have previously been implicated in pain processing and observed “no significant difference between patients and control individuals…across the entire pain matrix….”1 Although studying patients with loss-of-function SCN9A mutations is important and could potentially be highly informative, the conclusions to be drawn from the current study are limited for several reasons.

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August 29, 2016
Tim V. Salomons, PhD
1School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience & Neurodynamics, University of Reading, Reading, England
JAMA Neurol. Published online August 29, 2016.;():. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.2992.
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