Brain imaging correlates of peripheral nerve stimulation

Ausaf A. Bari, Nader Pouratian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Direct peripheral nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for a number of disorders including epilepsy, depression, neuropathic pain, cluster headache, and urological dysfunction. The efficacy of this stimulation is ultimately due to modulation of activity in the central nervous system. However, the exact brain regions involved in each disorder and how they are modulated by peripheral nerve stimulation is not fully understood. The use of functional neuroimaging such as SPECT, PET and fMRI in patients undergoing peripheral nerve stimulation can help us to understand these mechanisms. We review the literature for functional neuroimaging performed in patients implanted with peripheral nerve stimulators for the above-mentioned disorders. These studies suggest that brain activity in response to peripheral nerve stimulation is a complex interaction between the stimulation parameters, disease type and severity, chronicity of stimulation, as well as nonspecific effects. From this information we may be able to understand which brain structures are involved in the mechanism of peripheral nerve stimulation as well as define the neural substrates underlying these disorders. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S260-S268
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue numberSUPPL4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • -Peripheral nerve
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Occipital nerve
  • Positron-emission tomography
  • Sacral nerve
  • Single-photon emission -computed tomography
  • Stimulation
  • Trigeminal nerve
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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