Get access

Patients with Persistent Pain after Breast Cancer Treatment Show Enhanced Alpha Activity in Spontaneous EEG

Authors

  • Emanuel N. van den Broeke MSc, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • Reprint requests to: Emanuel van den Broeke, MSc, PhD, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Tel: 0031-24-3615612; Fax: 0031-24-3616066; E-mail: Emanuelvandenbroeke@hotmail.nl.

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Oliver H. G. Wilder-Smith MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Pain and Nociception Neuroscience Research Group, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Harry van Goor MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kris C. P. Vissers MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Pain and Nociception Neuroscience Research Group, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Clementina M. van Rijn MD, PhD

    1. Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Disclosure: No conflict of interest.

Abstract

Objective

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether patients with persistent pain after breast cancer treatment show an enhanced and slowed dominant alpha activity in their electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded during rest in comparison with patients that also had undergone breast cancer treatment but do not have pain.

Methods

The spontaneous EEG was recorded during rest and before painful stimulation of the calf and analyzed with spectral analysis (Fast Fourier Transformation). Outcome measures, i.e., alpha indices (center of gravity and overall amplitude), were statistically tested between patients with and without persistent pain.

Results

In comparison with patients without pain, patients with persistent pain after breast cancer treatment show more alpha activity in their spontaneous EEG observed from parietal-occipital brain regions.

Conclusion

Persistent pain after breast cancer treatment affects spontaneous brain activity, which might influence cognitive functioning.

Ancillary