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Pain outside the body: defensive peripersonal space deformation in trigeminal neuralgia

Bufacchi, RJ; Sambo, CF; Di Stefano, G; Cruccu, G; Iannetti, GD; (2017) Pain outside the body: defensive peripersonal space deformation in trigeminal neuralgia. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 12487. 10.1038/s41598-017-12466-5. Green open access

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Abstract

Perception of space has been guiding effective therapeutic interventions in a number of unilateral chronic pain conditions. However little is known about how trigeminal neuralgia (TN), a condition in which trigeminal stimulation triggers paroxysmal facial pain, affects defensive peripersonal space (DPPS), the portion of space surrounding the body within which defensive responses are enhanced. Given that TN is unilateral, in TN patients the DPPS of the face might not be horizontally symmetric as in pain-free individuals, but instead larger around the affected side. We tested this a priori hypothesis by measuring the proximity-dependent modulation of the hand-blink reflex. Stimuli delivered to the hand ipsilateral to TN elicited a stronger blink, particularly when it was measured from the eye ipsilateral to TN and the hand was closer to the face. Geometric modelling revealed (1) that DPPS was larger on the side of space ipsilateral to TN, and (2) this asymmetry was consequent to an increased estimated potential of sensory events to cause harm when they occur ipsilaterally to TN. These observations demonstrate that neural mechanisms underlying body protection in TN are adjusted to reduce the likelihood that external events evoke the painful paroxysm typical of this condition.

Type: Article
Title: Pain outside the body: defensive peripersonal space deformation in trigeminal neuralgia
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12466-5
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-12466-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024322
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