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Papers of the Week

2020 Jul 10

J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol

Aberrant pain modulation in trigeminal neuralgia patients.


Joshi I, Mattoo B, Mohan VK, Bhatia R
J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2020 Jul 10.
PMID: 32649294.


Objectives The present study attempts to understand the role of supraspinal nociceptive pain modulation in typical trigeminal neuralgia (TN) patients by using a conditioned pain modulation paradigm and estimation of plasma levels of two important neuromodulators; Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide and β-endorphin. Methods Twenty TN patients and 20 healthy, age and gender-matched subjects participated in the study. The participants' hot pain thresholds (HPT) were measured over their affected side on the face. Testing sites were matched for healthy controls. For the conditioned pain modulation their contralateral foot was immersed in noxious cold (5 °C) water bath (conditioning stimuli) for 30 s and HPT (testing stimuli) was determined before, during and till 5 min after the immersion. Plasma Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide and β-endorphin levels were estimated to understand their role in disease pathogenesis and pain modulation. Results Change in HPT during foot immersion was significantly higher in healthy controls compared to TN patients (p<0.0001). The changes recorded in HPT in patients, were significant only in 2nd and 3rd minute post immersion. While in healthy controls, the effect lasted till the 4th minute. The concentration of beta-endorphin was significantly lower in TN patients (p=0.003) when compared to healthy controls. Conclusions The results suggest that there is an impairment in supraspinal pain modulation also known as Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls in typical TN and that the reduced levels of β-endorphin may contribute to the chronic pain state experienced by patients.