Sensory changes in the forehead of patients with complex regional pain syndrome
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The aim of this study was to investigate involvement of central mechanisms in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). In particular, we wished to determine whether hyperalgesia extends ipsilaterally from the affected limb to the forehead. The heat-pain threshold, pressure-pain threshold, and ratings of cold and sharpness were investigated on each side of the forehead and in the affected and unaffected limbs of 38 patients with features of CRPS. In addition, touch thresholds were investigated in the limbs. The pressure-pain threshold was lower on the ipsilateral forehead than contralaterally, consistent with the presence of static mechanical hyperalgesia. Although the heat-pain threshold and ratings of sharpness and cold did not differ between the two sides of the forehead in the group as a whole, the sharpness of pinprick sensations in the affected limb was mirrored by similar sensations in the ipsilateral forehead. Conversely, diminished sensitivity to light touch in the affected limb was associated with diminished sensitivity to sharpness, cold and heat-pain in the ipsilateral forehead. These findings suggest that central nociceptive processing is disrupted in CRPS, possibly due to disturbances in the thalamus or higher cortical centres.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Psychology|
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