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Effects of long-term whole-body cold exposures on plasma concentrations of ACTH, beta-endorphin, cortisol, catecholamines and cytokines in healthy females

Authors:
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu

Abstract

Cold therapy is used to relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms. The present study was designed to determine the influence of long-term regular exposure to acute cold temperature. Two types of exposure were studied: winter swimming in ice-cold water and whole-body cryotherapy. The outcome was investigated on humoral factors that may account for pain alleviation related to the exposures. During the course of 12 weeks, 3 times a week, a group of healthy females (n = 10) was exposed to winter swimming (water 0-2 degrees C) for 20 s and another group (n = 10) to whole-body cryotherapy (air -110 degrees C) for 2 min in a special chamber. Blood specimens were drawn in weeks 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12, on a day when no cold exposure occurred (control specimens) and on a day of cold exposures (cold specimens) before the exposures (0 min), and thereafter at 5 and 35 min. Plasma ACTH and cortisol in weeks 4-12 on time-points 35 min were significantly lower than in week 1, probably due to habituation, suggesting that neither winter swimming nor whole-body cryotherapy stimulated the pituitary-adrenal cortex axis. Plasma epinephrine was unchanged during both experiments, but norepinephrine showed significant 2-fold to 3-fold increases each time for 12 weeks after both cold exposures. Plasma IL-1-beta, IL-6 or TNF alpha did not show any changes after cold exposure. The main finding was the sustained cold-induced stimulation of norepinephrine, which was remarkably similar between exposures. The frequent increase in norepinephrine might have a role in pain alleviation in whole-body cryotherapy and winter swimming.
... A few studies give some scientific insight on the health benefits of ice bathing and exposure to cold air. These studies suggest that regular cold exposure can be effective in treatment of chronic autoimmune inflammation [5], reduce hypercholesterolaemia by brown adipose tissue activation [6] and have a positive effect on stress regulation [5]. However, many of the health benefits claimed from regular coldwater exposure may not be causal and may, instead, be explained by other factors. ...
... A few studies give some scientific insight on the health benefits of ice bathing and exposure to cold air. These studies suggest that regular cold exposure can be effective in treatment of chronic autoimmune inflammation [5], reduce hypercholesterolaemia by brown adipose tissue activation [6] and have a positive effect on stress regulation [5]. However, many of the health benefits claimed from regular coldwater exposure may not be causal and may, instead, be explained by other factors. ...
... Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol levels seem to decrease significantly after a short time of regular cold-water exposure, probably due to acclimation or adaptation, suggesting that regular coldwater exposure has little effect on stimulating the pituitary-adrenal cortex axis [5,70]. However, the plasma concentration of norepinephrine has a significant increase after each, CWI, even after 3 months of regular CWI. ...
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This review is based on a multiple database survey on published literature to determine the effects on health following voluntary exposure to cold-water immersion (CWI) in humans. After a filtering process 104 studies were regarded relevant. Many studies demonstrated significant effects of CWI on various physiological and biochemical parameters. Although some studies were based on established winter swimmers, many were performed on subjects with no previous winter swimming experience or in subjects not involving cold-water swimming, for example, CWI as a post-exercise treatment. Clear conclusions from most studies were hampered by the fact that they were carried out in small groups, often of one gender and with differences in exposure temperature and salt composition of the water. CWI seems to reduce and/or transform body adipose tissue, as well as reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity. This may have a protective effect against cardiovascular, obesity and other metabolic diseases and could have prophylactic health effects. Whether winter swimmers as a group are naturally healthier is unclear. Some of the studies indicate that voluntary exposure to cold water has some beneficial health effects. However, without further conclusive studies, the topic will continue to be a subject of debate.
... Experts estimate that 70% of the population after the age of 30 has suffered from low back pain (LBP), while after the age of 40, the incidence of these symptoms increases and affects 66% of men and 30% of women [1,2]. One of the physical treatments for LBP, which has an effect on the secretion of many hormones, for example stress hormones and endogenous opioids, is whole body cryotherapy (WBCT) [3,4]. Exposure to extremely low temperatures (-130°C) in the cryotherapeutic chamber is a strong stress; however, the biological effect of low temperatures on the human body is not yet fully understood [5][6][7][8]. ...
... Whole body cryotherapy combined with exercises is one of the physical treatments that stimulates the endocrine system, but the mechanism of cryotherapy is not fully understood [4,20,21]. ...
... The hormones most frequently studied and described in relation to WBCT are the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline, the endogenous opioids β-endorphins and the steroid hormone cortisol [4,10,15,16]. β-endorphins are released into the blood under the influence of various factors, for example, nociceptive stimuli, stress, cold or during inflammation. Pain perception is modified at the level of the spinal cord, brain stem and subcortical centers. ...
... Among central nervous system disorders, MS is the most frequent cause of permanent disability in young adults, aside from trauma [3]. The body response to whole-body cryotherapy involves changes in the hormonal, cardiovascular, nervous, muscular and immune systems [4,5]. There are studies that show an association between exposure to cold temperatures and changes in the levels of certain hormones or enzymes in patients (ACTH, beta-endorphin, cortisol, catecholamines, cytokines, uric acid, tumor necrosis factor α, adrenaline, noradrenaline, testosterone) [5][6][7][8] and there are no data on the effect of cryotherapy on neuroplasticity. ...
... The body response to whole-body cryotherapy involves changes in the hormonal, cardiovascular, nervous, muscular and immune systems [4,5]. There are studies that show an association between exposure to cold temperatures and changes in the levels of certain hormones or enzymes in patients (ACTH, beta-endorphin, cortisol, catecholamines, cytokines, uric acid, tumor necrosis factor α, adrenaline, noradrenaline, testosterone) [5][6][7][8] and there are no data on the effect of cryotherapy on neuroplasticity. In the human body, iron is stored mainly in erythrocytes (hemoglobin), liver (hemosiderin, ferritin), muscles (myoglobin), plasma (transferrin) and bone marrow [9]. ...
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The aim of the study was to compare the effect of a series of 20 whole body cryotherapy (WBC) sessions on iron levels and neuroplasticity biomarkers in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy women. Consent was obtained from the Bioethics Committee at the Regional Medical Chamber in Krakow (87/KBL/OIL/2018; 08.05.2018). The study was registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12620001142921; 02.11.2020). The study included 30 people: 15 women with multiple sclerosis (mean age 41.53 ± 6.98 years) and 15 healthy women (mean age 38.47 ± 6.0 years). Both groups attended cryotherapy sessions. Venous blood was collected for analysis before the WBC session and after 20 sessions. In women with MS and healthy women, no significant effect of WBC on changes in the level biomarkers of neuroplasticity was found. There were also no statistically significant differences between the groups of the analyzed indices at the beginning of the study.
... However, staying too long in an area of reduced temperature causes cell degradation, which can lead to hypothermia [8], pulmonary edema [9,10], and even death. The body's response to cold involves changes in hormones [11,12], cardiovascular system [13], nervous and muscular systems [14], and immune system [11][12][13]15,16]. There are several mechanisms to prevent hypothermia by constricting skin blood vessels, as well as increasing heat production by intensifying metabolism and the appearance of muscle shivering. ...
... However, staying too long in an area of reduced temperature causes cell degradation, which can lead to hypothermia [8], pulmonary edema [9,10], and even death. The body's response to cold involves changes in hormones [11,12], cardiovascular system [13], nervous and muscular systems [14], and immune system [11][12][13]15,16]. There are several mechanisms to prevent hypothermia by constricting skin blood vessels, as well as increasing heat production by intensifying metabolism and the appearance of muscle shivering. ...
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Regular exposure to a cold factor—cold water swimming or ice swimming and cold air—results in an increased tolerance to cold due to numerous adaptive mechanisms in humans. Due to the lack of scientific reports on the effects of extremely low outdoor temperatures on the functioning of the human circulatory system, the aim of this study was to evaluate complete blood count and biochemical blood indices in multiple Guinness world record holder Valerjan Romanovski, who was exposed to extremely cold environment from −5 °C to −37 °C for 50 days in Rovaniemi (a city in northern Finland). Valerjan Romanovski proved that humans can function in extremely cold temperatures. Blood from the subject was collected before and after the expedition. The subject was found to have abnormalities for the following blood indices: testosterone increases by 60.14%, RBC decreases by 4.01%, HGB decreases by 3.47%, WBC decreases by 21.53%, neutrocytes decrease by 17.31%, PDW increases by 5.31%, AspAT increases by 52.81%, AlAT increase by 68.75%, CK increases by 8.61%, total cholesterol decreases by 5.88%, HDL increases by 28.18%. Percentage changes in other complete blood count and biochemical indices were within standard limits. Long-term exposure of the subject (50 days) to extreme cold stress had no noticeable negative effect on daily functioning.
... In the first stage, sympathetic adrenergic fibers are stimulated, releasing NA. The speed of nerve conduction slows down and local blood vessels narrow [14,46]. In the second stage, there is a rapid expansion of blood vessels and tissue reperfusion. ...
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Cryotherapy is becoming an increasingly popular method used in medicine, physiotherapy, and cosmetology. It is used in the form of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) and local cryotherapy. It is a tool for achieving analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Since the beginning of its use, its influence on the mental state has also been pointed out. The aim of this study was to analyze the available literature on the effect of cryogenic temperatures on the skin and the mechanisms induced by such a stimulus and its influence on well-being. A literature search of keywords or phrases was performed in PubMed®. Various effects of WBC on skin characteristics (hydration, pH, level of transepidermal water loss), mechanisms of anti-inflammatory effects, and effects on adipocytes were shown. Research on the impact of individual skin characteristics is not consistent. Positive effects on the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress have been noted. Cryotherapy is also successfully used in dermatology to treat lentil spots, actinic keratosis, and ingrown toenails, remove viral warts, or relieve itching in atopic dermatitis. The results of the review also indicate the effectiveness of WBC as an adjunctive treatment for obesity. The number of papers available on the direct effects of WBC on the skin is still limited, despite the fact that it represents the first contact of the human body with cryogenic temperatures. Available data show that cold as a physical stimulus can be a safe and useful tool in cosmetology.
... WBC consists of brief (2-3 min) and repeated exposure to extremely low temperatures in specially designed cryochambers with temperatures ranging from −110 to −160 degrees Celsius. The sudden stimulation of dermal thermoreceptors induces a chain reaction of events ranging from vasoconstriction [43] to slowed nerve conduction velocity of slow conducting C fibers, disabling the sensory receptors as well as their connections with the proprioceptors [44] to pain modulation via inhibitory action in conjunction with the cold-induced release of endorphins [45] and norepinephrine producing an overall analgesic effect. Repeated exposure to WBC seems to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory and oxidative markers, whereas the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative compounds are produced in larger quantities [46,47]. ...
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Pain severity, depression, and sleep disturbances are key targets for FM rehabilitation. Recent evidence suggests that whole-body cryostimulation (WBC) might be an effective add-on treatment in the management of FM. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an add-on WBC intervention to a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program on pain intensity, depressive symptoms, disease impact, sleep quality, and performance-based physical functioning in a sample of FM patients with obesity. We performed a randomized controlled trial with 43 patients with FM and obesity undergoing a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program with and without the addition of ten 2-min WBC sessions at −110 °C over two weeks. According to our results, the implementation of ten sessions of WBC over two weeks produced additional benefits. Indeed, both groups reported positive changes after the rehabilitation; however, the group that underwent WBC intervention had greater improvements in the severity of pain, depressive symptoms, disease impact, and quality of sleep. On the contrary, with respect to performance-based physical functioning, we found no significant between-group differences. Our findings suggest that WBC could be a promising add-on treatment to improve key aspects of FM, such as pain, depressive symptoms, disease impact and poor sleep quality.
... However, there is a range of individual responses to cold due to inter-individual differences, such as body size, BMI, fitness level, amount of subcutaneous fat, and gender (Castellani and Young, 2016;Gordon, 2001;Gordon et al., 2003). After repeated exposures to WBC the following effects have been measured: improvement of inflammatory and metabolic profile (White and Wells, 2013), enhancement of the antioxidant system , improvement of insulin sensitivity (Hanssen et al., 2016), increase of brown adipose tissue (BAT) volume percentage (Hanssen et al., 2016), decreased percentage of adipose tissue (Więcek et al., 2020), enhanced secretion of endorphins (Leppäluoto et al., 2008), and slowed down nerve conduction velocity (Bouzigon et al., 2021). Given the proven anti-inflammatory, exercise-mimicking effects (Lombardi et al., 2017), it is conceivable that patients affected by dysmetabolic conditions characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation could benefit from this treatment. ...
Article
Currently available treatments for the management of obesity struggle to provide clinically significant weight loss and reduction of the chronic low-grade inflammatory state in order to reduce obesity-related complications. This scoping review aims to provide an up-to-date picture of the therapeutic effects of Whole-Body Cryostimulation (WBC) in patients with obesity and evidence-based indications for its complementary use in the treatment of obesity. We searched the literature until the end of August 2021, retrieving 8 eligible studies out of 856, all evaluated for their methodological quality using the Downs and Black checklist. Overall, the limited data presented in this review article seem to support the efficacy of WBC as an adjuvant treatment in obesity. The cryogenic stimulus has important anti-inflammatory/antioxidant effects and its effectiveness is directly related to the individual percentage of fat mass and initial fitness capacity, mimicking an exercise-induced effect. Based on the limited results gathered, WBC emerges as a promising adjuvant therapy to reduce systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, abdominal obesity, and body mass. However, the data presented in this review article fail to reach definitive conclusions with regards to the efficacy of WBC in the treatment of obesity. Application of WBC protocols yields the potential to widen the therapeutic armor for the treatment of obesity and obesity-related disorders but larger, high-quality studies are still needed.
... 36 However, not all studies have shown this to be the case. 40 The interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system is complicated and shows much inter-and intra-variability. That aside, both increased cortisol and increased beta-endorphin have been associated with better psychological health. ...
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Background An increasing volume of anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that mood may be enhanced following swimming in cold water. The exact mechanisms responsible are largely unknown, but may include the effects of exercise from swimming and the effects of cold. This study examined the effect on mood following immersion in cold water, where swimming was not the primary activity. Methods The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire was completed by 64 undergraduate students. The following week, 42 participants completed up to 20-min immersion (18ʹ36ʺ ± 1ʹ48ʺ) in cold sea water (13.6°C). Twenty-two participants acted as controls. The POMS was completed immediately following the cold-water immersion by both groups. Results The cold-water immersion group showed a significant decrease, with a large effect size, of 15 points from 51 to 36, compared to 2 points in the control group, 42 to 40. Positive sub-scales increased significantly in the cold-water immersion group (Vigour by 1.1, and Esteem-Related Affect by 2.2 points) and negative sub-scales showed significant reductions (Tension by 2.5, Anger 1.25, Depression 2.1, Fatigue 2.2, and Confusion 2.8 points). The control showed no significant change except for depression, which was significantly higher after the period by 1.6 points. Conclusion Cold-water immersion is a well-tolerated therapy that is capable of significantly improving mood in young, fit, and healthy individuals. A key aim of this study was to control for the effects of swimming as a mechanism responsible for the improvement in mood which has been shown in previous studies. Thus, the change in mood evidenced in this study was not due to physical activity per se. Consequently, the hypothesis that cold in and of itself can improve mood is supported.
... The use of cold reduces the inflammatory response in an experimental setting 10 . Morphological and biochemical research carried out after the application of whole-body cryotherapy (-110ºC) increase the level of adrenaline, noradrenaline, ACTH, cortisol, testosterone and lower inflammatory markers such as Biernacki's Reaction (ESR) [11][12][13][14] . The body reacts to cold by changing hormones 15 in the circulatory system 16 , as well as in the nervous system and muscles 17 . ...
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Purpose: The aim of the study was to evaluate morphological, biochemical, and rheological blood indicators in men staying in a cryochamber at a temperature of -50°C for 24 hours. In 2018, a scientific-survival project ‘Taming the Frost’ was conducted at the Technoclimatic Research and Working Machines Laboratory of the Cracow University of Technology, under the scientific patronage of the Rector of the Cracow University of Technology, Prof. Jan Kazior, PhD, as well as the Rector of the University of Physical Education in Krakow, the late Prof. Aleksander Tyka, PhD, and the Vice-Rector for Science, Prof. Anna Marchewka, PhD. Material and methods: The blood for the tests was collected from an ulnar vein in fasting participants by a qualified nurse, in the morning, before entering the cryochamber and after 24 hours, i.e. on leaving the cryochamber. Morphological, biochemical, and rheological blood indicators were evaluated. The study group of the scientific-survival project ‘Taming the Frost’ involved men (n=6) who stayed in a cryochamber at a temperature of -50°C for 24 hours. For each participant, a 5-ml blood sample was placed in a tube (BD Vacutainer) with EDTA K2 anticoagulant for blood morphology and blood rheological evaluations in the Blood Physiology Laboratory of the Central Research and Development Laboratory, University of Physical Education in Krakow. Another 5-ml blood sample was placed in a Vacuette tube with a clotting activator for the remaining biochemical analyses in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry of the Krakow Branch of Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology. Results: After leaving the cryochamber with a temperature of –50°C, the participants presented statistically significant increases in monocyte count and high-density lipoprotein and creatine kinase values, as well as decreases in IgA, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. In the assessment of blood rheological indicators, statistically significant increases in the elongation index at the shear stress of 0.30, 0.58, 1.13, and 2.19 Pa and decreases in the elongation index at the shear stress of 31.03 and 60.3 Pa were observed. For red cell aggregation indicators, a statistically significant increase in total aggregation time was reported. The other indicators exhibited a significance level of p>0.05. Conclusions: Staying in a cryochamber at a temperature of -50°C for 24 hours did not exert a negative impact on morphological, biochemical, or rheological blood indicators, which implies the subjects’ adaptation to the arranged conditions.
Article
Objectives Peripheral neuropathies that occur secondary to nerve injuries may be painful or painless, and including a low-grade inflammation and pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with both regeneration and damage of peripheral nerve cells and fibers. Currently, there are no validated methods that can distinguished between neuropathic pain and painless neuropathy. The aim of this study was to search for proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins associated with pain and experimental pain sensitivity in subjects with surgeon-verified nerve injuries in the upper extremities. Methods One hundred and thirty-one subjects [69 with neuropathic pain, NP; 62 with painless neuropathy, nP] underwent a conditioned pain modulation (CPM) test that included a cold pressor task (CPT) conducted with the non-injured hand submerged in cold water (4 °C) until pain was intolerable. CPM was assessed by pain ratings to pressure stimuli before and after applying the CPT. Efficient CPM effect was defined as the ability of the individual’s CS to inhibit at least 29% of pain (eCPM). The subjects were assigned to one of two subgroups: pain sensitive (PS) and pain tolerant (PT) after the time they could tolerate their hand in cold water (PS<40 s and PT=60 s) . Plasma samples were analyzed for 92 proteins incorporated in the inflammation panel using multiplex Protein Extension Array Technology (PEA). Differentially expressed proteins were investigated using both univariate and multivariate analysis (principal component analysis-PCA and orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis-OPLS-DA). Results Significant differences in all protein levels were found between PS and PT subgroups (CV-ANOVA p<0.001), but not between NP and nP groups (p=0.09) or between inefficient CPM (iCPM) and eCPM (p=0.53) subgroups. Several top proteins associated with NP could be detected using multivariate regression analysis such as stromelysin 2 (MMPs), interleukin-2 receptor subunit beta (IL2RB), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 3 (CXCL3), fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 28 (CCL28), CCL25, CCL11, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), interleukin 4 (IL4), IL13. After adjusting for multiple testing, none of these proteins correlated significantly with pain. Higher levels of CCL20 (p=0.049) and CUB domain-containing protein (CDCP-1; p=0.047) were found to correlate significantly with cold pain sensitivity. CDCP-1 was highly associated with both PS and iCPM (p=0.042). Conclusions No significant alterations in systemic proteins were found comparing subjects with neuropathic pain and painless neuropathy. An expression of predominant proinflammatory proteins was associated with experimental cold pain sensitivity in both subjects with pain and painless neuropathy. One these proteins, CDC-1 acted as “molecular fingerprint” overlapping both CPM and CPT. This observation might have implications for the study of pain in general and should be addressed in more detail in future experiments.
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Rapid and prolonged analgesia was obtained in all of 14 obstetric patients who received synthetic human β-endorphin intrathecally at the time of delivery. Normal uterine contractions were maintained and all women were fully conscious and highly cooperative in the delivery process. No depression of respiration rate, cardiovascular or central nervous system was observed in any of the patients. Conditions of the infants evaluated by Apgar scoring were excellent. β-endorphin must be administered intrathecally because it does not cross the blood-brain barrier; for the same reason, β-endorphin cannot enter the central nervous system of the fetus as do opiates or other drugs commonly used as anesthetics or analgesics at the time of delivery.
Chapter
Four patients underwent whole-body cryo-therapy in a Medivent-GKT at −150°C. Fifteen minutes and 5 min before the treatment dopamine, noradrenalin, adrenalin, serotonin, β-endorphin, and Cortisol levels were measured. The same parameters were examined immediately after whole-body cryo-therapy, and then successively in intervals of 15 min up to 105 min. Dopamine, adrenalin, and serotonin levels were measured by the HPLC/ECD method; β-endorphin and Cortisol were measured by the RIA-method.
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The main duration of subjective relief of complaints in whole body cryotherapy consists of 2 hours. Immediately after the therapy there is a lowering of pain and improvement of the general well being. As compared to a control group there is 3 hours after therapy the feeling of improvement of joint function, which is also significantly demonstrable. Measuring of joint function immediately after whole body cryotherapy in patients with systemic joint disease shows a significant improvement of function. In some joints this improvement is, as compared to a control group, even after 3 hours still statistically significant. Radiologic changes were not observed.
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There is little information in the literature on analgesic effects of cold-chamber exposures in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. However, in addition to the pain symptoms, patients with this syndrome also frequently suffer from an increased sensitivity to cold. Thus the effect of cold-chamber exposures (-67°C, 13 min) on the sensitivity to pain, thermal comfort and actual pain intensity was examined in 17 female patients with fibromyalgia (ACR criteria) and compared with a control test without applications. The measured parameters were pressure, heat and cold pain thresholds (pressure algometry, Peltier-Thermode), thermal comfort (by means of local thermal cutaneous stimulation applied by a Peltier-Thermode; 17.5-40.0°C; steps of 2.5°C each; systematically varied stimulation sequence) as well as the actual pain intensity and feeling of general well-being (visual analogue scales, VAS). The thermal pain thresholds were determined on the inner surface of the forearm, and the sensitivity to pressure pain at the styloideus radii. The thermal comfort measurements were carried out at the forehead. After the coldchamber exposures cold and pressure pain thresholds were significantly or very significantly increased, whereas no threshold shifts could be proven with heat pain. Within the range of thermode temperatures beween 17.5°C and 27.5δC that were applied, the tolerance to temperature was significantly increased after cold-chamber exposures as compared both to the initial values and the control period. There was a statistically significant increase in the mean thermal tolerance range that was defined as difference between the cross-over points between the curve of well-being values with the temperatures applied. It was not possible to show an improvement of this kind in the controls. The mean values of the actual pain scores (VAS) were also significantly reduced after cold-chamber exposures, and the overall well-being improved. It is concluded that cold- chamber exposures have an analgesic effect in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and that in addition the thermal tolerance is increased. Further studies must now determine whether or not stable, adaptive improvements of pain sensitivity and thermal discomfort can be achieved with repeated application of cold chambers.
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In der Literatur liegen einzelne Berichte über analgetische Wirkungen von Kältekammerexpositionen bei Fibromyalgesiesyndrom vor. Neben der Schmerzsymptomatik leiden Patienten mit diesem Krankheitsbild aber häufig unter einer verstärkten Kälteempfindlichkeit. So wurde die Wirkung von Kältekammerexpositionen (- 67°C, 1-3 min) auf Schmerzempfindlichkeit, thermisches Komfortempfinden und aktuelle Schmerzintensität bei 17 Patientinnen mit Fibromyalgesiesyndrom (ACR-Kriterien) vergleichend zu einem Leerversuch ohne Anwendung geprüft. Messparameter waren Druck-, Hitze- und Kälteschmerzschwellen (Pressure-Algometrie, Peltier-Thermode), thermisches Komfortempfinden (mittels Peltier-Thermode applizierte lokale thermische Hautreize; 17,5- 40°C; 2,5 °C-Schritte; systematisch variierte Reizfolge) sowie aktuelle Schmerzintensität und allgemeines Wohlbefinden (VAS). Die thermischen Schmerzwellen wurden jeweils an der Unterarminnenfläche, die Druckschmerzempfindlichkeit am Styloideus radii bestimmt; die thermischen Komfortmessungen wurden an der Stirn durchgeführt. Nach den Kältekammerexpositionen waren die Kälte- und Druckschmerzschwellen signifikant bzw. hochsignifikant angehoben, während bei den Hitzeschmerzen keine Schwellenverschiebungen nachweisbar waren. Im Bereich applizierter Thermodentemperaturen von 17,5-27,5 °C war die subjektive Temperaturempfindungskurve nach der Kältekammerexposition gegenüber Ausgangswerten und Kontrollperiode signifikant angehoben. Der aus den Schnittpunkten der Komfortwert- Kurve mit den applizierten Temperaturen ermittelte mittlere thermische Toleranzbereich zeigte eine statistisch signifikante Zunahme. Eine solche Verbesserung der thermischen Toleranz war bei den Kontrollen nicht nachweisbar. Auch die aktuellen Schmerzangaben waren nach der Kältekammerexposition im Mittel signifikant erniedrigt und das allgemeine Wohlbefinden gesteigert. Es wird gefolgert, daß Kältekammerexpositionen bei Fibromyalgiesyndrom analgetisch wirken und darüber hinaus die thermische Toleranz erhöhen. In weiteren Studien muß nunmehr geklärt werden, ob bei wiederholter Applikation stabile adaptive Besserungen thermischer Mißempfindungen erzielt werden können.
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A radioimmunoassay method suitable for measuring levels of B-endorphin, B-lipotropin and proopiocortin in tissue and plasma extracts was developed and the method was evaluated by using 3 independently prepared antisera. Of the several variables tested the choice of assay buffer and test tubes and the purification of tracer were found to be the most critical in the successful performance of B-endorphin radioimmunoassay. The prevention of degradation of tracer during incubation was also necessary when crude tissue extracts or plasma were assayed. The sensitivities of the assays obtained with the 3 antisera utilized (Bendo 2, K 2 and RB 100) were 1, 2.8 and 4 fmol B-endorphin per tube. All the antisera crossreacted equimolarly with B-lipotropin. The method was employed to measure the levels of B-endorphin immunoreactivity in rat pituitary and plasma by separating the different immunoreactants by gel filtration. It was found that both pituitary and plasma contain significant amounts of proopiocortin, B-lipotropin and B-endorphin, the molar proportions being 10:33:57 in pituitary and 15:15:70 in plasma, respectively. Both anterior and posterior lobes of rat pituitary were found to contain all the three immunoreactants. However, anterior lobe contained mostly the larger molecules, while posterior lobe was rich in B-endorphin. No absolute levels of the immunoreactants could be obtained due to the heterologous system used. Moreover the elution pattern of the immunoreactivity was found to be dependent on the conditions used for elution in gel filtration: higher proportion of the immunoreactivity eluted like B-endorphin when the elution was done in dissociating conditions (6M urea) compared to elution with ordinary buffers.
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Long-distance swimmers swam in 10–14°C water on four days. Responses in blood pressure and rectal temperature were determined every day, and hormonal responses on the third day. Swimming time lengthened with the days and diastolic blood pressure after swimming was significantly lower on the fourth day than on the first day. In rectal temperatures there were great individual variations. Noradrenaline was elevated more in the thin swimmers. A lesser rise in diastolic blood pressure and the longer duration of swimming on the fourth day may point to habituation to the cold.