Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Herta Flor

Department of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University

Dr. Jamila Andoh

Department of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University

Neural circuits involved in phantom limb pain

 

fig1
Virtual Reality

The causal role of neuroplastic alterations in brain circuits and interacting peripheral factors in shaping the experience of phantom limb pain (PLP) is not yet well understood. In the new funding period we plan to complement the examination of amputees pre and post amputation with an analysis of patients with pain that have a high likelihood of having an amputation.

fig1
real-time fMRIy
fig1
transcranial magnetic stimulation

Since pre-amputation pain is a major determinant for PLP and also a major determinant for amputation in diabetic patients, we will test diabetic patients at risk for an amputation well before the amputation and follow them to assess central and peripheral physiological as well as psychological predictors of both amputation and PLP.

fig1
transcranial alternating current stimulation

We will also use virtual and augmented reality applications in addition to electromyographic recordings from the residual limb to model the differential role of somatosensory, motor and visual inputs from the phantom for brain changes and PLP.

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structural changes

 

Further, we will ask how the PLP percept can be modulated by altering activation patterns and cortical rhythms employing fMRI neurofeedback and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.

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functional maps of the primary
somatosensory and motor cortices

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