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Altered Neurocognitive Processing of Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Kuttikat, Anoop, Noreika, Valdas, Chennu, Srivas, Shenker, Nicholas, Bekinschtein, Tristan, Brown, Christopher A. (2017) Altered Neurocognitive Processing of Tactile Stimuli in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The Journal of Pain, 19 (4). pp. 395-409. ISSN 1526-5900. (doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.008) (KAR id:65570)

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Chronic pain in CRPS has been linked to tactile misperceptions and deficits in somatotopic representation of the affected limb. Here, we identify altered cognitive processing of tactile stimuli in CRPS patients that we propose marks heterogeneity in tactile decision-making mechanisms. In a case-control design, we compared middle and late-latency somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) in response to pseudo-randomised mechanical stimulation of the digits of both hands (including CRPS-affected and non-affected sides) between 13 CRPS patients and 13 matched healthy controls. During a task to discriminate the digit simulated, patients (compared to controls) had significantly lower accuracy and slowed response times but with high between-subject variability. At middle latencies (124-132ms), tactile processing in patients relative to controls showed decrements in superior parietal lobe and precuneus (that were independent of task demands) but enhanced activity in superior frontal lobe (that were task-dependent). At late latencies, patients showed an augmented P300-like response under task demands that localised to supplementary motor area (SMA). Source activity in SMA correlated with slowed response times, while its scalp representation intriguingly correlated with better functioning of the affected limb, suggesting a compensatory mechanism. Future research should investigate the clinical utility of these putative markers of tactile decision-making mechanisms in CRPS.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.008
Uncontrolled keywords: Chronic pain; CRPS; neuroplasticity; biomarkers; EEG; cognitive; tactile
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Srivas Chennu
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2020 04:10 UTC
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