Left/right judgement of body parts is selectively impaired in patients with unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome

Schmid, Annina B. and Coppieters, Michael W. (2012) Left/right judgement of body parts is selectively impaired in patients with unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. Clinical Journal of Pain, 28 7: 615-622. doi:10.1097/AJP.0b013e31823e16b9

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Author Schmid, Annina B.
Coppieters, Michael W.
Title Left/right judgement of body parts is selectively impaired in patients with unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome
Journal name Clinical Journal of Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0749-8047
Publication date 2012-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31823e16b9
Volume 28
Issue 7
Start page 615
End page 622
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Impaired left/right judgment of the affected body part is
regarded as a disruption of the body’s representation in cortical
and subcortical somatosensory and motor areas and has previously
been demonstrated in patients with severe neuropathic pain states.
It remains unknown whether persistent but less severe pain states
are sufficient to induce a similar impairment.

Twenty-seven patients with unilateral carpal tunnel
syndrome (CTS) and 27 healthy matched subjects performed 4
visual left/right judgment tasks. Series of pictures of hands, feet,
and necks from 4 different views were presented at 6 rotation
angles. Participants had to decide as accurately and quickly as
possible whether a right or left body part was presented (for hands
and feet) or whether the pictured neck was rotated toward the right
or left. To control for a generalized impairment in mental rotation,
a recognition task for Shepard-Metzler figures was included.

Recognition time for all tasks was comparable between
participants with CTS and healthy participants (P>0.47). However,
participants with CTS were B10% less accurate in recognizing
their affected hand (P=0.008). Recognition accuracy was also
reduced for necks (P=0.019) but not for feet or Shepard-Metzler
figures (P>0.69).

This study demonstrates that individuals with CTS
present with a selective impairment in left/right judgment that is
restricted to the affected quadrant. This indicates that left/right
judgment is impaired in much less severe pain states than previously
demonstrated. The findings are in line with previous reports, which
suggested the presence of central mechanisms in patients with CTS.
Keyword Laterality recognition
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Neuropathic pain
Mental rotation
Motor imagery
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 20 Feb 2012, 13:14:02 EST by Ms Annina Barbara Schmid on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences