Nociceptive flexion reflex thresholds and pain during rest and computer game play in patients with hypertension and individuals at risk for hypertension

Louisa Edwards, Christopher Ring, Christopher R. France, Mustafa al'Absi, David McIntyre, Douglas Carroll, Una Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Supraspinal pain modulation may explain hypertensive hypoalgesia. We compared nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) thresholds and pain during rest and computer game play in hypertensives and normotensives (Experiment 1) and normotensives with and without hypertensive parents (Experiment 2). The game was selected to modulate activity in pain pathways. NFR thresholds did not differ between groups during rest or game play. Pain ratings never differed between hypertensives and normotensives, whereas individuals with hypertensive parents reported less pain during the first two NFR assessments, compared to those without. NFR thresholds and pain were reduced by game play compared to rest. The failure of game play to differentially modulate NFR thresholds or associated pain reports between groups argues against enhanced supraspinal modulation of nociception and pain in hypertensives and those at increased risk for hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume76
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Nociceptive flexion reflex threshold
  • Pain
  • Risk for hypertension
  • Supraspinal pain modulation

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