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In neuropathic pain, the neurophysiological and neuropathological function of the ventro-posterolateral nucleus of the thalamus (VPL) and the periventricular gray/periaqueductal gray area (PVAG) involves multiple frequency oscillations. Moreover, oscillations related to pain perception and modulation change dynamically over time. Fluctuations in these neural oscillations reflect the dynamic neural states of the nucleus. In this study, an approach to classifying the synchronization level was developed to dynamically identify the neural states. An oscillation extraction model based on windowed wavelet packet transform was designed to characterize the activity level of oscillations. The wavelet packet coefficients sparsely represented the activity level of theta and alpha oscillations in local field potentials (LFPs). Then, a state discrimination model was designed to calculate an adaptive threshold to determine the activity level of oscillations. Finally, the neural state was represented by the activity levels of both theta and alpha oscillations. The relationship between neural states and pain relief was further evaluated. The performance of the state identification approach achieved sensitivity and specificity beyond 80% in simulation signals. Neural states of the PVAG and VPL were dynamically identified from LFPs of neuropathic pain patients. The occurrence of neural states based on theta and alpha oscillations were correlated to the degree of pain relief by deep brain stimulation. In the PVAG LFPs, the occurrence of the state with high activity levels of theta oscillations independent of alpha and the state with low-level alpha and high-level theta oscillations were significantly correlated with pain relief by deep brain stimulation. This study provides a reliable approach to identifying the dynamic neural states in LFPs with a low signal-to-noise ratio by using sparse representation based on wavelet packet transform. Furthermore, it may advance closed-loop deep brain stimulation based on neural states integrating multiple neural oscillations.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Neurosci

Publication Date





adaptive deep brain stimulation, local field potential, neural oscillation, neural state, synchronization