Post-stroke shoulder pain (PSSP), traditionally regarded as purely nociceptive pain, is often persistent and the mechanisms underlying the pain complaints are not well understood. This explorative study is the first to address the possible changes in cortical somatosensory processing in patients with PSSP. Cortical potentials were recorded following intracutaneous electrostimulaton in stroke patients with chronic PSSP (n= 6), pain-free stroke patients (PF, n=14) and healthy controls (HC, n=20) using EEG. Amplitudes and latencies of both sensory discriminative (N90) as well as cognitive evaluative (N150, P200, the N150-P200 peak-to-peak difference and P300) evoked potential components were evaluated. Stroke was associated with reduced N150 and P300 amplitudes and increased N90, N150 and P300 latencies at both sides. Compared to PF and HC, the P200 and N150-P200 latencies were increased in PSSP patients after stimulation at both sides, even when comparing subgroups with similar lesion size and location. Stroke was associated with reduced sensory-discriminative as well as with reduced cognitive-evaluative cortical somatosensory processing. This reduction was more pronounced in patients with PSSP and may be related to the central effects of persistent nociceptive pain.
- somatosensory function
- BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology
- evoked potentials
- Shoulder pain