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Effects of high frequency electrical stimulation on pain mechanisms in humans

Kwok, Shirley (2013) Effects of high frequency electrical stimulation on pain mechanisms in humans. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The purpose of this study was to explore effects of high frequency electrical stimulation (HFS) on pain mechanisms among healthy individuals. Findings suggested that HFS produced hyperalgesia (increase in sensitivity) on the conditioned forearm and analgesia (decrease in sensitivity) on the forehead and feet. These findings suggest that three underlying pain mechanisms (peripheral sensitisation, central sensitisation, and diffuse noxious inhibitory controls) are affected by HFS. However, analgesia to pressure-pain on the ipsilateral (to the HFS conditioned forearm) forehead was absent in the present study. Also, blink reflex activity elicited by large surface electrodes, as an electrophysiological measurement to study central processing of nociception and sensitisation, did not respond to HFS conditioning. Thus, no corresponding result of HFS conditioning was observed between psychophysical response and blink reflex activity. Several factors, might be contributing to these non-significant findings, were discussed at the end.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Supervisor(s): Drummond, Peter
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