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Aberrant neuronal activity in a model of work-related upper limb pain and dysfunction

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posted on 2023-06-12, 07:39 authored by Andrew DilleyAndrew Dilley, Michele Harris, Mary F Barbe, Geoffrey M Bove
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders associated with intense repetitive tasks are highly prevalent. Painful symptoms associated with such disorders can be attributed to neuropathy. In this study, we characterized the neuronal discharge from the median nerve in rats trained to perform an operant repetitive task. After 3-weeks of the task, rats developed pain behaviors and a decline in grip strength. Ongoing activity developed in 17.7% of slowly conducting neurons at 3-weeks, similar to neuritis. At 12-weeks, an irregular high frequency neuronal discharge was prevalent in >88.4% of slow and fast conducting neurons. At this time point, 8.3% of slow and 21.2% of fast conducting neurons developed a bursting discharge, which, combined with a reduction in fast-conducting neurons with receptive fields (38.4%), is consistent with marked neuropathology. Taken together, we have shown that an operant repetitive task leads to an active and progressive neuropathy that is characterized by marked neuropathology following 12-weeks task that mainly affects fast conducting neurons. Such aberrant neuronal activity may underlie painful symptoms in patients with work-related musculoskeletal disorders.


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The Journal of Pain





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United States

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  • BSMS Neuroscience Publications

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