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Regional skin wetness perception and its modulation by warm and cold whole-body skin temperatures in people with Multiple Sclerosis

Regional skin wetness perception and its modulation by warm and cold whole-body skin temperatures in people with Multiple Sclerosis
Regional skin wetness perception and its modulation by warm and cold whole-body skin temperatures in people with Multiple Sclerosis
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 MS participants (5M/7F; 48.3±10.8y; EDSS range: 1-7), and 11 healthy controls (4M/7F; 47.5±11.3y) undertook three trials, during which they performed a quantitative sensory test with either a thermo-neutral (30.9°C), warm (34.8°C), or cold (26.5°C) mean Tsk. Participants reported on visual analogue scales local wetness perceptions arising from the static and dynamic application of a cold-, neutral-, and warm-wet probe (1.32cm2; water content: 0.8ml), to the index-finger pad, forearm, and forehead. Data were analysed 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 individualised approach to profiling wetness sensing abnormalities in MS, we found that 3 out of the 12 MS participants (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 characterise the mechanisms underlying such individual variability.
body temperature regulation, multiple sclerosis, skin, thermoreceptors, wetness
0363-6119
R648-R660
Christogianni, Aikaterini
696c8a6c-30d6-4fb1-b7e4-70d45997180b
Bibb, Richard
249dd806-b589-48d1-8568-b28b88a8989c
Filtness, Ashleigh
e5f1053c-4a84-4bf5-9586-e88057fca20e
Filingeri, Davide
42502a34-e7e6-4b49-b304-ce2ae0bf7b24
Christogianni, Aikaterini
696c8a6c-30d6-4fb1-b7e4-70d45997180b
Bibb, Richard
249dd806-b589-48d1-8568-b28b88a8989c
Filtness, Ashleigh
e5f1053c-4a84-4bf5-9586-e88057fca20e
Filingeri, Davide
42502a34-e7e6-4b49-b304-ce2ae0bf7b24

Christogianni, Aikaterini, Bibb, Richard, Filtness, Ashleigh and Filingeri, Davide (2022) Regional skin wetness perception and its modulation by warm and cold whole-body skin temperatures in people with Multiple Sclerosis. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 323 (5), R648-R660. (doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00149.2022).

Record type: Article

Abstract

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 MS participants (5M/7F; 48.3±10.8y; EDSS range: 1-7), and 11 healthy controls (4M/7F; 47.5±11.3y) undertook three trials, during which they performed a quantitative sensory test with either a thermo-neutral (30.9°C), warm (34.8°C), or cold (26.5°C) mean Tsk. Participants reported on visual analogue scales local wetness perceptions arising from the static and dynamic application of a cold-, neutral-, and warm-wet probe (1.32cm2; water content: 0.8ml), to the index-finger pad, forearm, and forehead. Data were analysed 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 individualised approach to profiling wetness sensing abnormalities in MS, we found that 3 out of the 12 MS participants (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 characterise the mechanisms underlying such individual variability.

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2022_WetnessMS_AJP - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 29 August 2023.
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Accepted/In Press date: 29 August 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 August 2022
Keywords: body temperature regulation, multiple sclerosis, skin, thermoreceptors, wetness

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 470280
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/470280
ISSN: 0363-6119
PURE UUID: 85a3f03d-d6aa-46c1-8941-618fb312875e
ORCID for Davide Filingeri: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5652-395X

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2022 16:43
Last modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:02

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Contributors

Author: Aikaterini Christogianni
Author: Richard Bibb
Author: Ashleigh Filtness

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