Excitability of the Adelta Nociceptive Pathways as Assessed by the Recovery Cycle of Laser Evoked Potentials in Humans

Exp Brain Res. 2004 Mar;155(1):120-3. doi: 10.1007/s00221-003-1785-x. Epub 2004 Jan 17.

Abstract

To investigate the excitability of Adelta nociceptive pathways and the nature of the vertex laser evoked potentials (LEPs), we studied the recovery cycle of the P2-LEP component and compared it with that of the P200 of the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP). Using two identical CO(2)-laser stimulators, we delivered paired stimuli to two adjacent skin spots on the hand at interstimulus intervals ranging from 250 ms to 2 s. The test P2-LEP was strongly inhibited at the 250-ms interstimulus interval ( P<0.01) and progressively recovered by the 2-s interval. The P200-SEP, after paired stimuli to the median nerve, showed a time course even slower than the P2-LEP ( P<0.01). Besides providing the LEP recovery curve in normal subjects, our findings indicate that the P2-LEP relays through a number of synapses similar to (or even lower than) that for the P200-SEP, thus lending further support to the view that the nociceptive P2-LEP is not an endogenous potential equivalent to the P300.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Nociceptors / physiology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*