The predictive value of pain event-related potentials for the clinical experience of pain

Helen Vossen, Jim van Os, Hermanus J. Hermens, Richel Lousberg

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    Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been found to be related to subjective experience of experimental pain. But how are they related to the subjective experience of clinical pain? The current study investigated the predictive value of the pain ERP for the subjective experience of clinical pain. Event-related potentials in response to experimental pain were measured in 75 chronic low back pain sufferers. In addition, a two-week registration to note the amount of pain they experienced in daily life was done. The results demonstrate that the N2-component at Cz and C4 of the pain ERP (contralateral to the side of the stimulation) were significant predictors of clinical pain, and even stronger predictors than the accompanying subjective ratings of experimental pain. Thus, it seems promising to use event-related potentials as a more objective measure to make predictions about a person's likely pain experience in daily life.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of integrative neuroscience
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • predictive value
    • EWI-18952
    • BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology
    • Chronic pain
    • METIS-277456
    • IR-75114
    • Event related potentials

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