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Different sensitivity of pain-related chemosensory potentials evoked by stimulation with CO-2, tooth pulp event-related potentials, and acoustic event-related potentials to the tranquilizer diazepam



Different sensitivity of pain-related chemosensory potentials evoked by stimulation with CO-2, tooth pulp event-related potentials, and acoustic event-related potentials to the tranquilizer diazepam



British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 38(6): 545-555



1. The aim of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of pain-related potentials used in experimental pain models to the non-specific effects of the tranquilizer diazepam. Pain-related potentials were recorded after painful stimulation of the nasal mucosa with CO-2 and after painful stimulation of the tooth pulp. Acoustically evoked potentials were measured in order to compare their sensitivity to the tranquilizer diazepam with the sensitivity of the pain-related potentials. 2. Twenty volunteers participated in this randomised, double-blind, three-fold cross-over study. Measurements were obtained before and 20 min after the administration of the drug. Event-related potentials were recorded after painful stimulation of the nasal mucosa with CO-2 (two stimulus intensities: 60% v/v and 70% v/v CO-2), after painful stimulation of the tooth pulp (two stimulus intensities: 2.2 times and 3.3 times detection threshold), and after non-painful acoustical stimulation of the right ear. The subjects rated the perceived intensity of the painful stimuli by means of a visual analogue scale. In addition the spontaneous EEG was analysed in the frequency domain and the vigilance of the subjects was assessed in a tracking task. 3. Diazepam reduced significantly the amplitudes of the event-related potentials after painful stimulation of the tooth pulp and after acoustical stimulation. In contrast only a small, statistically non-significant reduction could be found after painful stimulation with CO-2. The pain ratings of the painful stimuli were not affected by diazepam. Diazepam reduced the performance of the tracking task. A decrease of arousal could be found in the alpha-2-range, whereas in the beta-2 and the theta-range the power density increased under diazepam. 4. We demonstrated that event-related potentials after painful stimulation of the nasal mucosa with CO-2 are less affected by the nonspecific effects of the tranquilizer diazepam than event-related potentials after painful stimulation of the tooth pulp. The effects of diazepam on the tracking task, the spontaneous EEG and the event-related potentials clearly confirm its sedative properties. Diazepam had no analgesic effect measurable by pain intensity estimates.

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Accession: 008468647

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7888293

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1994.tb04396.x


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