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Sleep restriction attenuates amplitudes and attentional modulation of pain-related evoked potentials, but augments pain ratings in healthy volunteers


Tiede, W; Magerl, W; Baumgärtner, U; Durrer, B; Ehlert, Ulrike; Treede, R D (2010). Sleep restriction attenuates amplitudes and attentional modulation of pain-related evoked potentials, but augments pain ratings in healthy volunteers. Pain, 148(1):36-42.

Abstract

The experiment investigated the impact of sleep restriction on pain perception and related evoked potential correlates (laser-evoked potentials, LEPs). Ten healthy subjects with good sleep quality were investigated in the morning twice, once after habitual sleep and once after partial sleep restriction. Additionally, we studied the impact of attentional focussing on pain and LEPs by directing attention to (intensity discrimination) or away from the stimulus (mental arithmetic). Laser stimuli directed to the hand dorsum were rated as 30% more painful after sleep restriction (49 ± 7 mm) than after a night of habitual sleep (38 ± 7 mm). A significant interaction between attentional focus and sleep condition suggested that attentional focusing was less distinctive under sleep restriction. Intensity discrimination was preserved. In contrast, the amplitude of the early parasylvian N1 of LEPs was significantly smaller after a night of partial sleep restriction (−36%, p < 0.05). Likewise, the amplitude of the vertex N2–P2 was significantly reduced (−34%, p < 0.01); also attentional modulation of the N2–P2 was reduced. Thus, objective (LEPs) and subjective (pain ratings) parameters of nociceptive processing were differentially modulated by partial sleep restriction. We propose, that sleep reduction leads to an impairment of activation in the ascending pathway (leading to reduced LEPs). In contradistinction, pain perception was boosted, which we attribute to lack of pain control distinct from classical descending inhibition, and thus not affecting the projection pathway. Sleep-restricted subjects exhibit reduced attentional modulation of pain stimuli and may thus have difficulties to readily attend to or disengage from pain.

Abstract

The experiment investigated the impact of sleep restriction on pain perception and related evoked potential correlates (laser-evoked potentials, LEPs). Ten healthy subjects with good sleep quality were investigated in the morning twice, once after habitual sleep and once after partial sleep restriction. Additionally, we studied the impact of attentional focussing on pain and LEPs by directing attention to (intensity discrimination) or away from the stimulus (mental arithmetic). Laser stimuli directed to the hand dorsum were rated as 30% more painful after sleep restriction (49 ± 7 mm) than after a night of habitual sleep (38 ± 7 mm). A significant interaction between attentional focus and sleep condition suggested that attentional focusing was less distinctive under sleep restriction. Intensity discrimination was preserved. In contrast, the amplitude of the early parasylvian N1 of LEPs was significantly smaller after a night of partial sleep restriction (−36%, p < 0.05). Likewise, the amplitude of the vertex N2–P2 was significantly reduced (−34%, p < 0.01); also attentional modulation of the N2–P2 was reduced. Thus, objective (LEPs) and subjective (pain ratings) parameters of nociceptive processing were differentially modulated by partial sleep restriction. We propose, that sleep reduction leads to an impairment of activation in the ascending pathway (leading to reduced LEPs). In contradistinction, pain perception was boosted, which we attribute to lack of pain control distinct from classical descending inhibition, and thus not affecting the projection pathway. Sleep-restricted subjects exhibit reduced attentional modulation of pain stimuli and may thus have difficulties to readily attend to or disengage from pain.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2010
Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 15:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:33
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-3959
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2009.08.029
Related URLs:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2009.10.013

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