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Further evidence of emotional allodynia in unmedicated young adults with major depressive disorder.

Ushinsky A, Reinhardt LE, Simmons AN, Strigo IA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We found significantly decreased affective pain thresholds whereby significantly lower temperatures became unpleasant in the MDD compared to the HC group.Within the MDD, the affective pain thresholds were significantly lower than the corresponding pain intensity thresholds, whereby non-painful temperatures were already unpleasant for the MDD irrespective of the induced mood.Finally, longitudinal work should examine whether emotional allodynia is a result of or vulnerability for depression and the role it plays in the increased susceptibility for pain complaints in this disorder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent evidence suggests that sensitivity to the emotional sequela of experimental thermal pain(measured by emotional unpleasantness) is heightened in individuals with major depressive disorder(MDD), a phenomenon we termed "emotional allodynia". The aim of this study was to examine whether acute happy and sad mood induction alters emotional allodynia in MDD. We hypothesized that emotional allodynia will be a robust characteristic of individuals with MDD compared to healthy controls. Thus, it would remain following acute mood induction, independent of valence.

Methods: Twenty-one subjects with current MDD and 21 well-matched healthy subjects(HC) received graded brief temperature stimuli following happy and sad mood inductions procedures(MIP). All subjects rated the intensity and affect(pleasantness/unpleasantness) of each stimulus. Sensory(pain intensity) and affective(pain unpleasantness) thresholds were determined by methods of constant stimuli.

Results: The MIPs reliably induced happy and sad mood and the resulting induced mood and subjective arousal were not different between the groups at the time of temperature stimulation. Compared to HC, MDD individuals demonstrated emotional allodynia. We found significantly decreased affective pain thresholds whereby significantly lower temperatures became unpleasant in the MDD compared to the HC group. This was not observed for the sensory pain thresholds. Within the MDD, the affective pain thresholds were significantly lower than the corresponding pain intensity thresholds, whereby non-painful temperatures were already unpleasant for the MDD irrespective of the induced mood. This was not observed for the HC groups where the affective and pain intensity thresholds were comparable.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that emotional allodynia may be a chronic characteristic of current MDD. Future studies should determine if emotional allodynia persists after psychological or pharmacological interventions. Finally, longitudinal work should examine whether emotional allodynia is a result of or vulnerability for depression and the role it plays in the increased susceptibility for pain complaints in this disorder.

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Mood Ratings.Subjects rated their mood prior to mood induction (M1), immediately after mood induction (M2) when temperature stimulations were applied and at the end of sad/happy experimental blocks (M3) (see Figure 1 and text for more details). Significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ rating of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.001) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. (A) Happy MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 5.199, p<0.05) and M3 ratings (F(1,39) = 13.970, p<0.01) but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 0.894, p>0.05); (B) Sad MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 11.584, p<0.01) and M3 (F(1,39) = 11.133, p<0.01) rating but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 3.720, p>0.05).
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pone-0080507-g002: Mood Ratings.Subjects rated their mood prior to mood induction (M1), immediately after mood induction (M2) when temperature stimulations were applied and at the end of sad/happy experimental blocks (M3) (see Figure 1 and text for more details). Significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ rating of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.001) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. (A) Happy MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 5.199, p<0.05) and M3 ratings (F(1,39) = 13.970, p<0.01) but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 0.894, p>0.05); (B) Sad MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 11.584, p<0.01) and M3 (F(1,39) = 11.133, p<0.01) rating but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 3.720, p>0.05).

Mentions: Using subjects’ ratings of mood over time as a repeated measure in an ANOVA model showed significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ ratings of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.01) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. These results suggest that the MIPs were effective in inducing the desired mood in both groups. Significant group effect on subjects’ mood rating was also observed (happy: F(1,39) = 10.544, p<0.01; sad: F(1,39) = 13.275, p<0.01) with mood ratings overall being lower in the MDD than the HC group. Post-hoc investigation of these group effects showed that during both happy and sad MIP blocks, MDD subjects showed lower mood ratings before and after (F’s(1,39)>3.0; p<0.05), but not during (F’s(1,39)<3.0, p>0.05) mood inductions (Figure 2a,b). These results suggest that when brief temperatures were applied, the groups were not significantly different in their state mood rating.


Further evidence of emotional allodynia in unmedicated young adults with major depressive disorder.

Ushinsky A, Reinhardt LE, Simmons AN, Strigo IA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Mood Ratings.Subjects rated their mood prior to mood induction (M1), immediately after mood induction (M2) when temperature stimulations were applied and at the end of sad/happy experimental blocks (M3) (see Figure 1 and text for more details). Significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ rating of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.001) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. (A) Happy MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 5.199, p<0.05) and M3 ratings (F(1,39) = 13.970, p<0.01) but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 0.894, p>0.05); (B) Sad MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 11.584, p<0.01) and M3 (F(1,39) = 11.133, p<0.01) rating but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 3.720, p>0.05).
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pone-0080507-g002: Mood Ratings.Subjects rated their mood prior to mood induction (M1), immediately after mood induction (M2) when temperature stimulations were applied and at the end of sad/happy experimental blocks (M3) (see Figure 1 and text for more details). Significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ rating of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.001) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. (A) Happy MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 5.199, p<0.05) and M3 ratings (F(1,39) = 13.970, p<0.01) but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 0.894, p>0.05); (B) Sad MIP: MDD subjects showed significantly lower M1 (F(1,39) = 11.584, p<0.01) and M3 (F(1,39) = 11.133, p<0.01) rating but not M2 rating (F(1,39) = 3.720, p>0.05).
Mentions: Using subjects’ ratings of mood over time as a repeated measure in an ANOVA model showed significant within-subjects effects of mood induction on subjects’ ratings of mood in both manipulations (happy: F(2,38) = 6.113, p<0.01; sad: F(2,38) = 12.306, p<0.01) with mood ratings being significantly lower during sad than happy MIP. These results suggest that the MIPs were effective in inducing the desired mood in both groups. Significant group effect on subjects’ mood rating was also observed (happy: F(1,39) = 10.544, p<0.01; sad: F(1,39) = 13.275, p<0.01) with mood ratings overall being lower in the MDD than the HC group. Post-hoc investigation of these group effects showed that during both happy and sad MIP blocks, MDD subjects showed lower mood ratings before and after (F’s(1,39)>3.0; p<0.05), but not during (F’s(1,39)<3.0, p>0.05) mood inductions (Figure 2a,b). These results suggest that when brief temperatures were applied, the groups were not significantly different in their state mood rating.

Bottom Line: We found significantly decreased affective pain thresholds whereby significantly lower temperatures became unpleasant in the MDD compared to the HC group.Within the MDD, the affective pain thresholds were significantly lower than the corresponding pain intensity thresholds, whereby non-painful temperatures were already unpleasant for the MDD irrespective of the induced mood.Finally, longitudinal work should examine whether emotional allodynia is a result of or vulnerability for depression and the role it plays in the increased susceptibility for pain complaints in this disorder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent evidence suggests that sensitivity to the emotional sequela of experimental thermal pain(measured by emotional unpleasantness) is heightened in individuals with major depressive disorder(MDD), a phenomenon we termed "emotional allodynia". The aim of this study was to examine whether acute happy and sad mood induction alters emotional allodynia in MDD. We hypothesized that emotional allodynia will be a robust characteristic of individuals with MDD compared to healthy controls. Thus, it would remain following acute mood induction, independent of valence.

Methods: Twenty-one subjects with current MDD and 21 well-matched healthy subjects(HC) received graded brief temperature stimuli following happy and sad mood inductions procedures(MIP). All subjects rated the intensity and affect(pleasantness/unpleasantness) of each stimulus. Sensory(pain intensity) and affective(pain unpleasantness) thresholds were determined by methods of constant stimuli.

Results: The MIPs reliably induced happy and sad mood and the resulting induced mood and subjective arousal were not different between the groups at the time of temperature stimulation. Compared to HC, MDD individuals demonstrated emotional allodynia. We found significantly decreased affective pain thresholds whereby significantly lower temperatures became unpleasant in the MDD compared to the HC group. This was not observed for the sensory pain thresholds. Within the MDD, the affective pain thresholds were significantly lower than the corresponding pain intensity thresholds, whereby non-painful temperatures were already unpleasant for the MDD irrespective of the induced mood. This was not observed for the HC groups where the affective and pain intensity thresholds were comparable.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that emotional allodynia may be a chronic characteristic of current MDD. Future studies should determine if emotional allodynia persists after psychological or pharmacological interventions. Finally, longitudinal work should examine whether emotional allodynia is a result of or vulnerability for depression and the role it plays in the increased susceptibility for pain complaints in this disorder.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus