Nociceptive pathway function is normal in cervical dystonia: A study using laser-evoked potentials

Michele Tinazzi, Massimiliano Valeriani, Giovanna Squintani, Federica Corrà, Serena Recchia, Giovanni Defazio, Alfredo Berardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cervical dystonia (CD) is often associated with pain in the neck muscles, though the mechanisms underlying pain in this condition are still largely unknown. The aim of this study was to assess laser pain rating and CO 2 laserevoked potentials (LEPs) in CD patients with pain in the posterior neck region. We assessed the N2/P2 LEP complex and laser pain rating in a group of 20 CD patients and in 21 normal subjects. In 11 of the 20CDpatients (group I), the N2/ P2 complex was recorded after stimulation of the skin overlying the right and left deltoid muscles (painless and non-dystonic). In the remaining nine CD patients (group II), the N2/P2 complex was recorded after stimulation of the skin over the splenius capitis muscle (painful and dystonic) and after stimulation of the skin overlying the contralateral splenius muscle (painless and non-dystonic). In group I patients, the N2/P2 LEP amplitude and laser pain rating after stimulation of both shoulders did not differ significantly from those obtained in normal subjects. Similarly, in group II patients, the N2/P2 LEP amplitude and laser pain rating after stimulation of the painful and dystonic splenius capitis muscle did not differ significantly from those obtained from either the contralateral painless, non-dystonic splenius capitis or normal subjects. The results of this study demonstrate that cutaneous nociceptive pathway function in CD patients is normal, thereby indicating that muscle pain in CD is not associated with any central sensitization of nociceptive inputs in either painful (dystonic) or non-painful (non-dystonic) body areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2066
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume259
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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Keywords

  • Cervical dystonia
  • CO laser-evoked potentials
  • Nociception
  • Pain
  • Somatosensory system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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