BACKGROUND: Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) was introduced in the early 1990s by Tsubokawa and his group for patients diagnosed with drug-resistant, central neuropathic pain. Inconsistencies concerning the details of this therapy and its outcomes and poor methodology of most clinical essays divide the neuromodulation society worldwide into "believers" and "nonbelievers." A European expert meeting was organized in Brussels, Belgium by the Benelux Neuromodulation Society in order to develop uniform MCS protocols in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative courses.
METHODS: An expert meeting was organized, and a questionnaire was sent out to all the invited participants before this expert meeting. An extensive literature research was conducted in order to enrich the results.
RESULTS: Topics that were addressed during the expert meeting were 1) inclusion and exclusion criteria, 2) targeting and methods of stimulation, 3) effects of MCS, and 4) results from the questionnaire.
CONCLUSIONS: Substantial commonalities but also important methodologic divergencies emerged from the discussion of MCS experts from 7 European Centers. From this meeting and questionnaire, all participants concluded that there is a need for more homogenous standardized protocols for MCS regarding patient selection, implantation procedure, stimulation parameters, and follow-up-course.