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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Nov 2022 - 2 Dec 2022

Human Studies

2022 Dec

Dev Psychobiol



Modifying quantitative sensory testing to investigate behavioral reactivity in a pediatric global developmental delay sample: Relation to peripheral innervation and chronic pain outcomes.



Early tactile and nociceptive (pain) mechanisms in children with global developmental delay at risk for intellectual and developmental disability are not well understood. Sixteen children with global developmental delay (mean age = 5.1 years, SD = 1.4; 50% male) completed a modified quantitative sensory testing (mQST) protocol, an epidermal (skin) punch biopsy procedure, and parent-endorsed measures of pain. Children with reported chronic pain had significantly greater epidermal nerve fiber density (ENFd) compared to children without chronic pain. Based on the mQST trials, ENFd values were associated with increased vocal reactivity overall and specifically during the light touch and cool thermal stimulus trials. The findings support the feasibility of an integrative biobehavioral approach to test nociceptive and tactile peripheral innervation and behavioral reactivity during a standardized sensory test in a high-risk sample for which there is often sensory dysfunction and adaptive behavior impairments.