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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Jan 2021 - 29 Jan 2021

Human Studies

2021 Jan 18


Cortical Mechanisms of Visual Hypersensitivity in Women at Risk for Chronic Pelvic Pain.


Kmiecik MJ, Tu FF, Silton RL, Dillane KE, Roth GE, Harte SE, Hellman KM
medRxiv. 2021 Jan 18.
PMID: 33501463.


Multisensory hypersensitivity (MSH), which refers to persistent discomfort across sensory modalities, is a risk factor for chronic pain. Developing a better understanding of the neural contributions of disparate sensory systems to MSH may clarify its role in the development of chronic pain. We recruited a cohort of women ( =147) enriched with participants with menstrual pain at risk for developing chronic pain. Visual sensitivity was measured using a periodic pattern-reversal stimulus during EEG. Self-reported visual unpleasantness ratings were also recorded. Bladder pain sensitivity was evaluated with an experimental bladder-filling task associated with early clinical symptoms of chronic pelvic pain. Visual stimulation induced unpleasantness was associated with bladder pain and evoked primary visual cortex excitation; however, the relationship between unpleasantness and cortical excitation was moderated by bladder pain. Thus, future studies aimed at reversing the progression of MSH into chronic pain should prioritize targeting of cortical mechanisms responsible for maladaptive sensory input integration.