3 research outputs found

    Perceptual correlates of homosynaptic long-term potentiation in human nociceptive pathways: A replication study

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    Animal studies have shown that high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of peripheral C-fibres induces long-term potentiation (LTP) within spinal nociceptive pathways. The aim of this replication study was to assess if a perceptual correlate of LTP can be observed in humans. In 20 healthy volunteers, we applied HFS to the left or right volar forearm. Before and after applying HFS, we delivered single electrical test stimuli through the HFS electrode while a second electrode at the contra-lateral arm served as a control condition. Moreover, to test the efficacy of the HFS protocol, we quantified changes in mechanical pinprick sensitivity before and after HFS of the skin surrounding both electrodes. The perceived intensity was collected for both electrical and mechanical stimuli. After HFS, the perceived pain intensity elicited by the mechanical pinprick stimuli applied on the skin surrounding the HFS-treated site was significantly higher compared to control site (heterotopic effect). Furthermore, we found a higher perceived pain intensity for single electrical stimuli delivered to the HFS-treated site compared to the control site (homotopic effect). Whether the homotopic effect reflects a perceptual correlate of homosynaptic LTP remains to be elucidated.Fil: van de Broeke, Emanuel N.. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Vanmaele, Tessa. Katholikie Universiteit Leuven; BélgicaFil: Mouraux, André. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Stouffs, Alexandre. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Biurrun Manresa, José Alberto. Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos. Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo en Bioingeniería y Bioinformática - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Santa Fe. Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo en Bioingeniería y Bioinformática; ArgentinaFil: Torta, Diana M.. Katholikie Universiteit Leuven; Bélgic

    Phase-locked and non-phase-locked EEG responses to pinprick stimulation before and after experimentally-induced secondary hyperalgesia

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    Pinprick-evoked brain potentials (PEPs) have been proposed as a technique to investigate secondary hyperalgesia and central sensitization in humans. However, the signal-to-noise (SNR) of PEPs is low. Here, using time-frequency analysis, we characterize the phase-locked and non-phase-locked EEG responses to pinprick stimulation, before and after secondary hyperalgesia.status: publishe

    A highly cognitive demanding working memory task may prevent the development of nociceptive hypersensitivity

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    Whether, how, and which cognitive factors modulate the development of secondary hypersensitivity/hyperalgesia after central sensitization is not fully understood. Here, we tested, in 3 subsequent experiments, whether being engaged in non-pain-related cognitive demanding tasks: (1) lessens the amount of hypersensitivity developed after an experimental procedure sensitizing nociceptive pathways; and (2) modulates cortical responses to somatosensory stimuli (measured by electroencephalography, EEG). In the first experiment, we validated a novel model in humans using low-frequency stimulation of the skin and demonstrated that it was able to successfully induce hypersensitivity to mechanical pinprick stimuli in the area surrounding the sensitized site. In the second and third experiments, we engaged participants in tasks of increasing difficulty (the Eriksen Flanker Task in experiment 2, and a modified N-back task in experiment 3). We observed that hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli still developed in experiment 2, that is, the pinprick stimuli applied on the sensitized arm were perceived as more intense after low-frequency stimulation. By contrast, no statistically significant enhancement of mechanical hypersensitivity was observed in experiment 3, indicating that, at the group level, being engaged in a difficult N-back task may interfere with the development of mechanical hypersensitivity. Contrary to previous studies, which have used different methods to induce sensitization, we did not observe any increase in the cortical response to somatosensory stimuli applied on the sensitized arm. We conclude that (1) the development of pinprick hypersensitivity is modulated by the concomitant execution of a difficult N-back task, and (2) the enhancement of cortical responses to somatosensory stimuli is related to the method used to induce central sensitization