Body Representation In Complex Regional Pain Syndrome And Its Association With Physical Symptoms

Axel Vitterso, Monika Halicka, Michael Proulx, Gavin Buckingham, Mark Wilson, Janet Bultitude

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a disabling chronic pain condition. Typically, CRPS patients present with distorted body representations, which is thought to contribute to the condition’s aetiology. However, it is not clear what deficits, if any, exist in the neuropsychological process of updating body representations for this population, and how this might relate to CRPS symptoms.
Aims: To study CRPS patients’ abilities to update their body representation, and its association with physical symptoms.
Methods: The process of updating one’s body representation can be studied by measuring changes in visual-tactile interference due to tool use. This process is quantified by the altered cross-modal interference pattern, measured in ms and error rates, following active tool use. Some CRPS symptoms appear to be spatially defined. Therefore, a secondary outcome is temperature change in the affected limb.
Consequently, 20 CRPS patients and 20 age-matched controls will be tested.
Results: CRPS patients are expected to be slower at updating their body representation and/or do so to a lesser extent, as evidenced by patterns of cross-modal interference that differ from those of the controls. Furthermore, a reduction in symptoms, is expected when the body representation is updated to include the tool, and this is held so that it crosses the body midline, measured in relative temperature change.
Conclusion: The current study expects to show that CRPS patients have an impaired ability to update their body representation which should correlate with alterations of physical symptoms.
Funding Acknowledgement:
GW4 BioMed Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2017
EventPain Research Meeting - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 18 Sept 201719 Sept 2017


ConferencePain Research Meeting
Abbreviated titlePRM


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