Yazhuo Kong1, Michael Lee2, Catherine Warnaby1, Vishwani Wanigasekera1, Mark Jenkinson1, Irene Tracey1, Jonathan Brooks1
1FMRIB centre, Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; 2Division of Anaesthesia, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Chronic pain is thought to arise due to maladaptive changes occurring at the level of the spinal cord. To investigate such changes in humans, a non-invasive neuroimaging technique is desirable. We have investigated the functional response in the spinal cord of 18 healthy subjects to noxious stimulation using punctate and thermal stimulation of the left and right arms. Group analysis, revealed distinct regions of activity within the spinal cord that were dependent on both the side of stimulation and the type of stimulus used. These results present the first non-invasive evidence for a lateralised and stimulus-specific spinal cord response.