We investigated whether and how multiple sclerosis (MS) alters thresholds for perceiving increases and decreases in local skin temperature, as well as the sensitivity to progressively greater temperature stimuli, amongst heat-sensitive people with MS. Eleven MS patients (5 M/6 F; 51.1 ± 8.6 y, EDSS 5.7 ± 1.9) and 11 healthy controls (CTR; 7 M/4 F; 50.3 ± 9.0 y) performed warm and cold threshold tests on a hairy skin site, on both sides of the body. They also underwent a thermosensitivity test where they rated (visual analogue scale) perceived magnitude of 4 local skin stimuli (i.e. 22, 26, 34, 38°C). Individual thresholds and slopes of linear regression for thermosensitivity were z-transformed for each MS patient, and used to determine individual thermosensory abnormalities. When considering both threshold and thermosensitivity, six out of our 11 heat-sensitive patients (54.5%) exhibited skin thermosensory abnormalities. Those abnormalities varied amongst patients in terms of type (threshold vs. thermosensitivity), quality (warm vs. cold), location (left vs. right side of the body) and extent. Each of those six patients presented unique thermosensory profiles. While some patients experienced thermosensory loss in both thresholds and sensitivity and on both sides of the body, others experienced cold thermosensory loss on one side of the body only. The observed individual variability in thermosensory function among heat-sensitive MS patients highlight the need for a patient-centered approach to assessing thermosensory dysfunction and its potential implications for heat stress vulnerability in this patient group.
|Numero di pagine||9|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2021|
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