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Regional skin wetness perception and its modulation by warm and cold whole body skin temperatures in people with multiple sclerosis

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posted on 2022-12-07, 12:20 authored by Aikaterini Christogianni, Richard Bibb, Ashleigh FiltnessAshleigh Filtness, Davide Filingeri

Skin wetness sensing is important for thermal stress resilience. Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) present greater vulnerability to thermal stress; yet, it is unclear whether they present wetness-sensing abnormalities. We investigated the effects of MS on wetness sensing and their modulation with changes in mean skin temperature (Tsk). Twelve participants with MS [5 males (M)/7 females (F); 48.3 ± 10.8 yr; Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) range: 1–7] and 11 healthy controls (4 M/7 F; 47.5 ± 11.3 yr) undertook three trials, during which they performed a quantitative sensory test with either a thermoneutral (30.9°C), warm (34.8°C), or cold (26.5°C) mean Tsk. Participants reported on visual analog scales local wetness perceptions arising from the static and dynamic application of a cold-, neutral-, and warm-wet probe (1.32 cm2; water content: 0.8 mL), to the index finger pad, forearm, and forehead. Data were analyzed for the group-level effect of MS, as well as for its individual variability. Our results indicated that MS did not alter skin wetness sensitivity at a group level, across the skin sites and temperature tested, neither under normothermia nor under conditions of shifted thermal state. However, when taking an individualized approach to profiling wetness-sensing abnormalities in MS, we found that 3 of the 12 participants with MS (i.e., 25% of the sample) presented a reduced wetness sensitivity on multiple skin sites and to different wet stimuli (i.e., cold, neutral, and warm wet). We conclude that some individuals with MS may possess reduced wetness sensitivity; however, this sensory symptom may vary greatly at an individual level. Larger-scale studies are warranted to characterize the mechanisms underlying such individual variability.

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Loughborough University

History

School

  • Design and Creative Arts

Department

  • Design

Published in

American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

Volume

323

Issue

5

Pages

R648 - R660

Publisher

American Physiological Society

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by American Physiological Society under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

2022-08-25

Publication date

2022-10-19

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0363-6119

eISSN

1522-1490

Language

  • en

Depositor

Deposit date: 1 December 2022

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