A Placebo-Controlled Randomized Crossover Trial of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartic Acid Receptor Antagonist, Memantine, in Patients with Chronic Phantom Limb Pain

Katja Wiech, Ralph Thomas Kiefer, Stephanie Töpfner, Hubert Preissl, Christoph Braun, Klaus Unertl, Herta Flor, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the present study we investigated the effect of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist memantine (30 mg/d) on the intensity of chronic phantom limb pain (PLP) and cortical reorganization. In 8 patients with chronic PLP, memantine was tested in a placebo-controlled double-blinded crossover trial of 4 wk duration per trial. The intensity of PLP was rated hourly by the patients on a visual analog scale during baseline and both treatment periods. At the same time points, the functional organization of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) was determined by neuromagnetic source imaging. In comparison to baseline and placebo, the NMDA receptor antagonist had no effect on the intensity of chronic PLP. In none of the periods were significant changes in the functional organization of SI observed. Although the conclusions regarding the clinical effect are limited because of the small sample size, the data indicate that in the studied dosage the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine is ineffective in the treatment of chronic PLP and is also ineffective for the reduction of associated neural plasticity in the primary SI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Volume98
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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