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Neural responses to a modified Stroop paradigm in patients with complex chronic musculoskeletal pain compared to matched controls: an experimental functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Taylor, Ann Margaret, Harris, Ashley D., Varnava, Alice, Phillips, Rhiannon, Hughes, Owen, Wilkes, Antony R., Hall, Judith Elizabeth and Wise, Richard Geoffrey 2016. Neural responses to a modified Stroop paradigm in patients with complex chronic musculoskeletal pain compared to matched controls: an experimental functional magnetic resonance imaging study. BMC Psychology 4 (5) , pp. 1-13. 10.1186/s40359-016-0109-4

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Abstract

Background: Chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMSKP) is attentionally demanding, complex and multi-factorial; neuroimaging research in the population seen in pain clinics is sparse. A better understanding of the neural activity underlying attentional processes to pain related information compared to healthy controls may help inform diagnosis and management in the future. Methods: Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) compared brain responses in patients with CMSKP (n=15) and healthy controls (n=14) while completing a modified Stroop task using pain-related, positive-emotional, and neutral control words. Results: Response times in the Stroop task were no different for CMSKP patients compared with controls, but patients were less accurate in their responses to all word types. BOLD fMRI responses during presentation of pain-related words suggested increases in neural activation in patients compared to controls in regions previously reported as being involved in pain perception and emotion: the anterior cingulate cortex, insula and primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. No fMRI differences were seen between groups in response to positive or control words. Conclusions: Using this modified Stroop tasks, specific differences were identified in brain activity between CMSKP patients and controls in response to pain-related information using fMRI. This provided evidence of differences in the way that pain-related information is processed in those with chronic complex musculoskeletal pain that were not detectable using the behavioural measures of speed and accuracy. The study may be helpful in gaining new insights into the impact of attention in those living with chronic pain

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Biomed Central
ISSN: 2050-7283
Funders: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Welsh Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences, National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (NSERC of Canada )
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 28 January 2016
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2019 21:41
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/86205

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