Tuesday, September 20th
Novel Experimental/Analytic Approaches/Tools
Neurophysiological Biomarkers for Central Sensitization in Humans
Although different experimental pain models have been devised to investigate the mechanisms underlying central sensitization in humans, how to reliably quantify central sensitization within the dorsal horn of the human spinal cord is still an issue of controversy.
Within the IMI-PainCare project (IMIPAINCARE Grant number 777500) we are testing different neurophysiological measures to assess spinal and brainstem excitability and verifying how central sensitization induced by capsaicin and high frequency stimulation modulates these neurophysiological responses.
In this presentation I will show our recent experimental data in humans. These data have now provided evidence that the N13 component of somatosensory evoked potentials (N13 SEP), the RIII flexion reflex and the recovery cycle of the R2 blink reflex reflect dorsal horn excitability changes associated with central sensitization phenomenon. I will also show our parallel preclinical research activity currently verifying whether these neurophysiological measures might be reliably applied in animals, in order to assess dorsal horn excitability. This back-translation from humans to animals of reliable measure of central sensitization might be useful to improve drug selection in preclinical studies.