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Neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury: significance of clinical and electrophysiological measures


Wydenkeller, S; Maurizio, S; Dietz, V; Halder, P (2009). Neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury: significance of clinical and electrophysiological measures. European Journal of Neuroscience, 30(1):91-99.

Abstract

A large percentage of spinal cord-injured subjects suffer from neuropathic pain below the level of the lesion (bNP). The neural mechanisms underlying this condition are not clear. The aim of this study was to elucidate the general effects of spinal deafferentiation and of bNP on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. In addition, the relationship between the presence of bNP and impaired function of the spinothalamic tract was studied. Measurements were performed in complete and incomplete spinal cord-injured subjects with and without bNP as well as in a healthy control group. Spinothalamic tract function, assessed by contact heat evoked potentials, did not differ between subjects with and without bNP; nevertheless, it was impaired in 94% of subjects suffering from bNP. In the EEG recordings, the degree of deafferentiation was reflected in a slowing of EEG peak frequency in the 6-12-Hz band. Taking into account this unspecific effect, spinal cord-injured subjects with bNP showed significantly slower EEG activity than subjects without bNP. A discrimination analysis in the subjects with spinothalamic tract dysfunction correctly classified 84% of subjects as belonging to either the group with bNP or the group without bNP, according to their EEG peak frequency. These findings could be helpful for both the development of an objective diagnosis of bNP and for testing the effectiveness of new therapeutic agents.

Abstract

A large percentage of spinal cord-injured subjects suffer from neuropathic pain below the level of the lesion (bNP). The neural mechanisms underlying this condition are not clear. The aim of this study was to elucidate the general effects of spinal deafferentiation and of bNP on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. In addition, the relationship between the presence of bNP and impaired function of the spinothalamic tract was studied. Measurements were performed in complete and incomplete spinal cord-injured subjects with and without bNP as well as in a healthy control group. Spinothalamic tract function, assessed by contact heat evoked potentials, did not differ between subjects with and without bNP; nevertheless, it was impaired in 94% of subjects suffering from bNP. In the EEG recordings, the degree of deafferentiation was reflected in a slowing of EEG peak frequency in the 6-12-Hz band. Taking into account this unspecific effect, spinal cord-injured subjects with bNP showed significantly slower EEG activity than subjects without bNP. A discrimination analysis in the subjects with spinothalamic tract dysfunction correctly classified 84% of subjects as belonging to either the group with bNP or the group without bNP, according to their EEG peak frequency. These findings could be helpful for both the development of an objective diagnosis of bNP and for testing the effectiveness of new therapeutic agents.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2009
Deposited On:29 Sep 2009 15:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:21
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0953-816X
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06801.x
PubMed ID:19558605

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