Neurophysiological assessment of residual thermonociceptive sensation following spinal cord injury - a pilot study


Dr Paul Wrigley

Pain Management Research Institute, Kolling Institute, Northern Sydney Local Health District and Sydney Medical School Northern, The University of Sydney


Pain Management Research Institute, Level 13 Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards NSW 2065



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Assessment of pain and temperature preservation following spinal cord injury.

Over the last two decades, in collaboration with the spinal cord community and spinal injury units around New South Wales, members of the Pain Management Research Institute (Kolling Institute), University of Sydney have been working to improve the management of people with pain following spinal cord injury.

To improve the way pain is assessed following spinal cord injury we are evaluating the benefit of a sensitive nerve test (Contact Heat Evoked Potentials) to detect surviving pain and temperature nerves in the spine following spinal cord injury. This test measures brain activation (electroencephalographic recording or EEG) following a computer driven heat pulse to the skin. The presence of a brain wave indicates communication between the skin and brain and intact temperature and pain pathways. This test is likely to be more sensitive and objective than the current approach of asking whether cold or heat is felt

We are recruiting people with complete (preferably thoracic level) spinal cord injuries with or without nerve pain. We are also looking for healthy controls without pain or injury.

The study involves one visit to Royal North Shore Hospital and is expected to take approximately 3 hours. An amount of $120 will be provided to assist with the costs of attending.

If you have any questions, would like to view the information sheet or would like to participate in this study please email Alan Wainwright, Dr Paul Wrigley or call (02) 9926 4951.

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