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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Sep 2022 - 9 Sep 2022


Front Pain Res (Lausanne)


Multidimensional pain phenotypes after Traumatic Brain Injury.


Robayo LE, Govind V, Vastano R, Felix ER, Fleming L, Cherup NP, Widerström-Noga E
Front Pain Res (Lausanne). 2022; 3:947562.
PMID: 36061413.


More than 50% of individuals develop chronic pain following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Research suggests that a significant portion of post-TBI chronic pain conditions is neuropathic in nature, yet the relationship between neuropathic pain, psychological distress, and somatosensory function following TBI is not fully understood. This study evaluated neuropathic pain symptoms, psychological and somatosensory function, and psychosocial factors in individuals with TBI (TBI, = 38). A two-step cluster analysis was used to identify phenotypes based on the Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory and Beck's Anxiety Inventory scores. Phenotypes were then compared on pain characteristics, psychological and somatosensory function, and psychosocial factors. Our analyses resulted in two different neuropathic pain phenotypes: (1) Moderate neuropathic pain severity and anxiety scores (MNP-AS, = 11); and (2) mild or no neuropathic pain symptoms and anxiety scores (LNP-AS, = 27). Furthermore, the MNP-AS group exhibited greater depression, PTSD, pain severity, and affective distress scores than the LNP-AS group. In addition, thermal somatosensory function (difference between thermal pain and perception thresholds) was significantly lower in the MNP-AS compared to the LNP-AS group. Our findings suggest that neuropathic pain symptoms are relatively common after TBI and are not only associated with greater psychosocial distress but also with abnormal function of central pain processing pathways.