Siobhan Schabrun

Siobhan Schabrun
Neuroscience Research Australia

PhD, B.Physio (Hons)

About

124
Publications
38,202
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2,951
Citations
Introduction
Dr Siobhan Schabrun is a research fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia. Her work is focussed on understanding the role of brain plasticity in the development of persistent musculoskeletal pain (such as low back pain) and on developing and testing brain-based treatments for pain
Additional affiliations
March 2009 - July 2013
The University of Queensland
Position
  • NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (124)
Article
Background Systematic implementation of evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines for management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in primary care physiotherapy in Australia is embryonic. Clinical practice guidelines have been implemented in the public healthcare sector at a State-level for physiotherapists in the form of multidisciplinary programs, b...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability, resulting in pain and reduced quality of life. Exercise is the cornerstone of conservative management but effects are, at best, moderate. Early evidence suggests that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the primary motor cortex (M1) may improve the effec...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Social media provide promising contemporary platforms for sharing public health information with a broad audience. Before implementation, testing social media campaigns that are intended to engage audiences and initiate behaviour change is necessary. This trial aims to investigate the effectiveness of a public health campaign to increa...
Article
Objective It remains unclear to what extent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-evoked potentials (TEPs) reflect sensory (auditory and somatosensory) potentials as opposed to cortical excitability. The present study aimed to determine; a) the extent to which sensory potentials contaminate TEPs using a spatially-matched sham condition, and b) whether...
Article
Predicting the development of chronic low back pain (LBP) at the time of an acute episode remains challenging. The Understanding persistent Pain Where it ResiDes (UPWaRD) study aimed to identify neurobiological and psychological risk factors for chronic LBP. Individuals with acute LBP (N=120) participated in a prospective cohort study with six-mont...
Preprint
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Many pain biomarkers fail to move from discovery to clinical application, attributed to poor reliability and feasible classifications of at-risk individuals. Preliminary evidence has shown that higher pain sensitivity is associated with slow peak alpha frequency (PAF) and depression of corticomotor excitability (CME). The present study evaluated th...
Article
Bilateral deficits in sensorimotor function have been observed in unilateral musculoskeletal pain conditions. Altered interhemispheric inhibition (IHI) between primary sensory cortices (S1s) is one mechanism that could explain this phenomenon. However, IHI between S1s in response to acute muscle pain, and the relationship between IHI and pressure p...
Article
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Introduction Clinician time and resources may be underutilised if the treatment they offer does not match patient expectations and attitudes. We developed a questionnaire (AxEL-Q) to guide clinicians toward elements of first-line care that are pertinent to their patients with low back pain. Methods We used guidance from the COSMIN consortium to de...
Preprint
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Background Despite chronic low back pain (LBP) being considered a biopsychosocial condition for diagnosis and management, few studies have investigated neurophysiological or neurobiological risk factors thought to underpin the transition from acute to chronic LBP. The aim of this cohort profile is to describe the methodology, compare baseline chara...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) evoked potentials (TEPs) can be used to index cortical excitability. However, it remains unclear to what extent TEPs reflect somatosensory and auditory-evoked potentials which arise from the scalp sensation and click of the TMS coil, as opposed to transcranial stimulation of cortical circuits. O...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a common musculoskeletal pain condition with development of chronic symptoms in 49% of patients. Although a number of biological factors have shown an association with chronic TMD in cross-sectional and case control studies, there are currently no biomarkers that can predict the development of chron...
Article
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Experimental pain inhibits primary motor cortex (M1) excitability. Attenuating pain-related inhibition of M1 excitability may be useful during rehabilitation in individuals with pain. One strategy to attenuate M1 excitability is to influence prefrontal and premotor cortex activity. Working memory tasks, e.g. the two-back task (TBT), engage prefront...
Poster
This review aimed to summarize and critically appraise the evidence for a causal role of perceived stress and life stressors in the development of chronic MDs.
Article
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Objective: To evaluate patient engagement with, and the feasibility of, a novel, culturally adapted physiotherapy pain management approach. Design: A participant-blinded and assessor-blinded pilot randomised controlled trial. Setting: Outpatient physiotherapy departments at two public hospitals and one district pain clinic. Participants: Adu...
Article
Background: Traditional transcranial magnetic stimulation mapping involves systematically delivering stimuli over a predefined grid. The pseudorandom walk method seeks to improve map acquisition times by abandoning the grid in favour of delivering stimuli randomly over a given area. Objectives: To i) determine the minimum interstimulus interval...
Article
The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in the experience and modulation of pain, and may be an important node linking pain and cognition. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC can reduce chronic and experimental pain. However, whether left DLPFC rTMS can influence the development of chronic pain...
Article
Impaired corticomotor function is reported in patients with lateral epicondylalgia, but the causal link to pain or musculotendinous overloading is unclear. In this study, sensorimotor cortical changes were investigated using a model of persistent pain combined with an overloading condition. In 24 healthy subjects, the effect of nerve growth factor...
Article
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Homeostatic plasticity regulates synaptic activity by preventing uncontrolled increases (long-term potentiation) or decreases (long-term depression) in synaptic efficacy. Homeostatic plasticity can be induced and assessed in the human primary motor cortex (M1) using noninvasive brain stimulation. However, the reliability of this methodology has not...
Article
Background context: Despite altered anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs) being hypothesized to contribute to the onset and persistence of low back pain (LBP), results from studies comparing people with and without LBP are conflicting. Purpose: This systematic review aimed to determine whether anticipatory (APAs) or co...
Article
Changes in excitability of the sensorimotor cortex have been demonstrated in clinical musculoskeletal pain, although the timing is unknown. Eccentric exercise provokes delayed-onset muscle soreness providing a model to study the temporal profile of sensorimotor cortical plasticity during progressively developing muscle soreness. Twelve healthy part...
Article
Context: Scapular taping can offer clinical benefit to some patients with shoulder pain; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Understanding these mechanisms may guide the development of treatment strategies for managing neuromusculoskeletal shoulder conditions. Objective: To examine the mechanisms underpinning the benefits of scapular...
Article
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Objective: Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms regulate synaptic plasticity in the human brain. Impaired homeostatic plasticity may contribute to maladaptive synaptic plasticity and symptom persistence in chronic musculoskeletal pain. Methods: We examined homeostatic plasticity in fifty individuals with chronic low back pain (cLBP) and twenty-five...
Article
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Background: Many factors are thought to contribute to chronic ankle instability (CAI). Multiple systematic reviews have synthesised the available evidence to identify the primary contributing factors. However, readers are now faced with several systematic reviews that present conflicting findings. Objective: The aim of this systematic review and...
Article
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Background Chronic primary headache disorders are associated with frequent, severe pain and significant functional impairment, with treatment remaining challenging. Objective We examined the feasibility and safety of a novel brain [transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)] and spinal cord stimulation [trans-spinal cord direct current stimula...
Article
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Chronic pain can be associated with movement abnormalities. The primary motor cortex (M1) has an essential role in the formulation and execution of movement. A number of changes in M1 function have been reported in studies of people with chronic pain. This review systematically evaluated the evidence for altered M1 structure, organization, and func...
Article
Full-text available
Background Psychosocial factors play an important role in chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders. Although psychosocial stress is likely to contribute to the development of chronic musculoskeletal pain, investigations are limited to work-related stress or examination of specific conditions such as upper limb pain. The purpose of this review is to a...
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine if 8 weeks of exercise affects motor control in people with chronic low back pain (CLBP), measured by anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs). APAs and CPAs were measured prior to and following 8 weeks in two groups of people with CLBP: an exercise group (n=12) who attended three e...
Article
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Introduction Chronic low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly health problem yet current treatments demonstrate at best, small effects. The concurrent application of treatments with synergistic clinical and mechanistic effects may improve outcomes in chronic LBP. This pilot trial aims to (1) determine the feasibility, safety and perceived patient...
Article
Objective: Neuromodulation is increasingly investigated for the treatment of low back pain (LBP). However, the neurophysiological effects of common neuromodulatory techniques (anodal transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS] and peripheral electrical stimulation [PES]) have not been investigated in people with chronic LBP. Here we aimed to co...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Chronic low back pain is a worldwide burden that is not being abated with our current knowledge and treatment of the condition. The fear-avoidance model is used to explain the relationship between pain and disability in patients with chronic low back pain. However there are gaps in empirical support for pathways proposed within this mo...
Article
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Background Endometriosis is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain worldwide. Non-surgical treatments are effective for only 30–50% of women and have a significant side effect burden that leads to high discontinuation rates. Surgery can be effective but is expensive and invasive, and symptoms tend to recur within 5 years. There is early evide...
Article
Aim/background: Primary motor cortex (M1) organization differs between individuals with and without chronic low back pain (CLBP), in parallel with motor and sensory impairments. This study investigated whether movement behaviour and tactile/pain sensation are related to M1 organisation in CLBP. Methods: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) wa...
Article
Background and aims Maladaptive plasticity in neural circuits has been proposed in chronic musculoskeletal pain and has been discussed as a key component of the transition from acute to chronic pain. The induction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in healthy individuals is one method that can be used to investigate the adaptations of neural c...
Article
Full-text available
A randomised, assessor- and participant-blind, sham-controlled trial was conducted to assess the safety and feasibility of adding transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to quadriceps strengthening exercise in knee osteoarthritis (OA), and provide data to inform a fully powered trial. Participants were randomised to receive active tDCS+exerc...
Article
Objective.: To examine the effect of motor activity on the magnitude and duration of altered corticomotor output following experimental muscle pain. Design. : Experimental, pre-post test. Setting. : University laboratory. Subjects. : Twenty healthy individuals. Methods.: Participants were randomly allocated to a Rest or Movement group. The...
Article
Materials and methods: TMS was used to map the motor cortical representation of paraspinal muscles in eleven individuals with LBP and eleven pain-free controls. The latency, duration and magnitude of bursting, number of active burst sites, map volume and coordinates of the burst 'hotspot' were compared between groups. Results: In pain-free contr...
Article
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Introduction There is strong evidence that biopsychosocial approaches are efficacious in the management of chronic pain. However, implementation of these approaches in clinical practice is known not to account for the beliefs and values of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients. This limitation in translation of research contributes...
Article
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Objective.: Reorganization of the primary motor cortex (M1) may be a feature of persistent patellofemoral pain (PFP), but no studies have investigated M1 organization in this condition. Here we aimed to examine the organization of the M1 representation of the quadriceps muscles in people with PFP and healthy controls. Design.: Using a cross-sect...
Article
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Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive means by which to assess the structure and function of the central nervous system. Current practices involve the administration of multiple stimuli over target areas of a participant’s scalp. Decreasing the number of stimuli delivered during TMS assessments would improve time effi...
Article
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The delivery of five stimuli to each cranial site is recommended during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) mapping. However, this time-consuming practice restricts the use of TMS mapping beyond the research environment. While reducing the number of stimuli administered to each cranial site may improve efficiency and decrease physiological dema...
Article
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Peripheral electrical stimulation (PES) modulates corticomotor excitability but its effect on motor performance has not been thoroughly investigated. The purpose of this study was to assess whether increases and/or decreases in corticomotor excitability, induced by PES, influenced motor performance using a visuomotor adaptation task. Three PES inte...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION Chronic anke instability (CAI) is characterised by feelings of giving way and/or instability surrounding the ankle joint following an initial ankle sprain [1]. Many factors are thought to contribute to CAI including altered regulation of Ia-afferent activity; however, this has only been investigated during isometric tasks [2, 3]. The f...
Article
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Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of a combined anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and dual task gait training intervention in people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and to provide data to support a sample size calculation for a fully powered trial should trends of effectiveness be present. Design: A pilot, ra...
Data
Study protocol approved by the University of Queensland’s Human Medical Research Ethics committee. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Ankle sprains are a significant clinical problem. Researchers have identified a multitude of factors contributing to the presence of recurrent ankle sprains including deficits in balance, postural control, kinematics, muscle activity, strength, range of motion, ligament laxity and bone/joint characteristics. Unfortunately, the literatu...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory (CPAs) postural adjustments are organised by the central nervous system (CNS) and serve to control postural perturbations. Ineffective APAs and CPAs have been hypothesised to contribute to the persistence of symptoms and disability in people with low back pain (LBP). Despite two decades of research,...
Article
Acute muscle pain has both motor and sensory consequences, yet the effect of muscle pain on the primary sensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices has yet to be systematically evaluated. Here we aimed to determine the strength of the evidence for (1) altered activation of S1/M1 during and after pain, (2) the temporal profile of any change in activation a...
Article
Objective . Corticomotor output is reduced in response to acute muscle pain, yet the mechanisms that underpin this effect remain unclear. Here the authors investigate the effect of acute muscle pain on short-latency afferent inhibition, long-latency afferent inhibition, and long-interval intra-cortical inhibition to determine whether these mechanis...
Article
Background: Lateral epicondylalgia (LE) is a musculotendinous condition characterized by persistent pain, sensorimotor dysfunction and motor cortex reorganization. Although there is evidence linking cortical reorganization with clinical symptoms in LE, the mechanisms underpinning these changes are unknown. Here we investigated activity in motor co...
Article
Full-text available
Study design: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Introduction: Although corticosteroid injections are often cited as best practice in the treatment of de Quervain's disease, no reviews have compared their effectiveness to a multimodal definition of hand therapy. Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of corticosteroid injections with that of...
Article
Full-text available
. Chronic or persistent pain and disability following noncatastrophic “musculoskeletal” (MSK) trauma is a pervasive public health problem. Recent intervention trials have provided little evidence of benefit from several specific treatments for preventing chronic problems. Such findings may appear to argue against formal targeted intervention for MS...