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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Apr 2022 - 15 Apr 2022


Human Studies

2022 Mar 29

J Clin Med



Sensory Thresholds and Peripheral Nerve Responses in Chronic Tension-Type Headache and Neuropsychological Correlation.


Romero-Godoy R, Romero-Godoy S R, Romero-Acebal M, Gutiérrez-Bedmar M
J Clin Med. 2022 Mar 29; 11(7).
PMID: 35407512.


Chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) is a common disease with no fully defined pathophysiological processes. We designed a study to value electrophysiological responses in these patients and their correlation with possible psychopathological manifestations in order to deepen understanding of central and peripheral mechanisms of CTTH. In 40 patients with CTTH and 40 healthy controls, we used electrical stimulation to determine sensory threshold (SPT) and pain perception threshold (PPT) and the characteristics of the electrophysiological sensory nerve action potential (SNAP): initial sensory response (ISR) and supramaximal response (SMR). We then calculated the intensity differences between thresholds (IDT), namely SPT-PPT, ISR-SMR and SMR-PPT, and correlated these IDTs with psychological characteristics: trait and state anxiety, depression, and emotional regulation. The SPT, together with the ISR and SMR thresholds, were higher ( < 0.01) in CTTH patients. The SMR-PPT IDT was smaller and correlated with significantly higher indicators of depression, state and trait anxiety, and poorer cognitive reappraisal. CTTH patients have less capacity to recognize non-nociceptive sensory stimuli, greater tendency toward pain facilitation, and a poor central pain control requiring higher stimulation intensity thresholds to reach the start and the peak amplitude of the SNAP. This is consistent with relative hypoexcitability of the Aβ nerve fibers in distant regions from the site of pain, and therefore, it could be considered a generalized dysfunction with a focal expression. Pain facilitation is directly associated with psychological comorbidity.