From pulse width modulated TENS to cortical modulation: based on EEG functional connectivity analysis

Armita Faghani Jadidi, Winnie Jensen, Ali Asghar Zarei, Eugen Romulus Lontis, S Farokh Atashzar

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Modulation in the temporal pattern of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), such as Pulse width modulated (PWM), has been considered a new dimension in pain and neurorehabilitation therapy. Recently, the potentials of PWM TENS have been studied on sensory profiles and corticospinal activity. However, the underlying mechanism of PWM TENS on cortical network which might lead to pain alleviation is not yet investigated. Therefore, we recorded cortical activity using electroencephalography (EEG) from 12 healthy subjects and assessed the alternation of the functional connectivity at the cortex level up to an hour following the PWM TENS and compared that with the effect of conventional TENS. The connectivity between eight brain regions involved in sensory and pain processing was calculated based on phase lag index and spearman correlation. The alteration in segregation and integration of information in the network were investigated using graph theory. The proposed analysis discovered several statistically significant network changes between PWM TENS and conventional TENS, such as increased local strength and efficiency of the network in high gamma-band in primary and secondary somatosensory sources one hour following stimulation. Our findings regarding the long-lasting desired effects of PWM TENS support its potential as a therapeutic intervention in clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1239068
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Jadidi, Jensen, Zarei, Lontis and Atashzar.


  • modulated TENS
  • functional brain connectivity
  • graph theory
  • pain
  • neurorehabilitation


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