Does Habituation Differ in Chronic Low Back Pain Subjects Compared to Pain-Free Controls? A Cross-Sectional Pain Rating ERP Study Reanalyzed with the ERFIA Multilevel Method

Catherine J. Vossen*, Helen G. M. Vossen, Engelbert A. Joosten, Jim van Os, Richel Lousberg

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The objective of the present study was to investigate cortical differences between chronic low back pain (CLBP) subjects and pain-free controls with respect to habituation and processing of stimulus intensity. The use of a novel event-related fixed-interval areas (ERFIA) multilevel technique enables the analysis of event-related electroencephalogram (EEG) of the whole post stimulus range at a single trial level. This technique makes it possible to disentangle the cortical processes of habituation and stimulus intensity. In a cross-sectional study, 78 individuals with CLBP and 85 pain-free controls underwent a rating paradigm of 150 nonpainful and painful somatosensory electrical stimuli. For each trial, the entire epoch was partitioned into 20-ms ERFIAs, which acted as dependent variables in a multilevel analysis. The variability of each consecutive ERFIA period was modeled with a set of predictor variables, including 3 forms of habituation and stimulus intensity. Seventy-six pain-free controls and 65 CLBP subjects were eligible for analysis. CLBP subjects showed a significantly decreased linear habituation at 340 to 460 ms in the midline electrodes and C3 (Ps
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine
Volume94
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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