Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

People with amputation and musculoskeletal pain show reduced electrical activity of Alpha brain waves: cross-sectional study

Pessoas com amputação e relato de dor musculoesquelética apresentam redução da atividade elétrica das ondas cerebrais Alpha: estudo transversal

Débora Pinheiro Aguiar, Paulo Cezar do Nascimento Filho, Amanda Guerra Moreira, Gabriella Coelho Vieira de Melo Alves, Gisele Harumi Hotta, Francisco Fleury Uchoa Santos-Júnior

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Amputation causes associated clinical conditions, such as musculoskeletal pain (MSP), which causes suffering and interferes in the patient’s life. Therefore, the development of diagnostic methods to measure these changes are encouraged, such as quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG). The aim of the study was to compare the electroencephalographic pattern of Alpha brain waves (8-12 Hz) in individuals with amputation with MSP unrelated to phantom limb pain and without MSP. 
METHODS: Study conducted between January and February 2022, with 20 people with amputations divided equally into two groups (Control Group and with MSP report not related to the amputated segment). Pain intensity and interference were evaluated (Brief Pain Inventory), as well as the presence of central sensitization (CS) signs and symptoms (CS inventory) and qEEG (assessed with eyes open) with spectral analysis to measure the amplitude of the Alpha wave, standardized Low Resolution brain electromagnetic Tomography (sLORETA) to identify the differential generation site of said wave and Phase-Amplitude Coupling (PAC) to identify its interaction with fast waves. 
RESULTS: People with amputation and MSP reported mild pain severity and interference. No difference was identified between individuals regarding the presence of signs and symptoms associated with CS. Regarding electrical activity, the Pain Group had lower Alpha wave amplitude compared to the Control Group (p=0.01), specifically in the parieto-occipital region. 
CONCLUSION: People with amputation and reported MSP unrelated to the phantom limb had reduced electrical activity (activation) of the Alpha brain wave in the sensory cortex.


Amputees, Electroencephalography, Musculoskeletal pain.


Amputados, Dor musculoesquelética, Eletroencefalografia. 

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