November 2011 Archives


<Physiological Measurements>
  The measurement of PSP was made using the ProComp Infinity™/ BioGraph Infinity (Thought Technology Ltd., Montreal) biofeedback system.  The following indices were measured (Table 2).

<Psychological Measurements>
  To evaluate the temporary mood states, the Profile of Mood States (POMS) test was administered. The POMS assesses six affective mood dimensions: tension-anxiety (TA), depression-dejection (D), anger-hostility (A), vigor-activity (V), fatigue-inertia (F), and confusion-bewilderment(C).

  The subjective symptom score (subjective severity of symptoms) and the subjective tension score (subjective feelings of tension) were also obtained using a visual analogue scale.

  After the psychological measurements were administered, the physiological measurements were made during the following three periods (5 minutes each, total of 15 minutes).  The subject was seated in a chair with eyes closed.

a) Baseline resting period: the subject was instructed to relax and make himself/ herself comfortable
b) Stress period (mental arithmetic task): the subject was instructed to subtract 7 serially from 1000.
c) Post stress period: the subject was instructed to relax.


  Somatic symptoms of medically unknown origin are highly prevalent in the community and clinical settings; not only the primary care setting but also the secondary care setting(1-3), and are clinically important(4).  Functional somatic syndrome (FSS) refers to several related syndromes that are characterized more by symptoms, suffering, and disability than by disease-specific, demonstrable abnormalities of structure or function(6). 

   FSSs include various diseases in many medical specialties such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, fibromyalgia syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

  FSSs are expected to share a common underlying pathophysiology (6).  Among the regulating systems in human body, we have been focusing on autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its relationship to stress.  The following two aspects should be considered in the pathophysiology of FSS: a) dysregulation of the stress response in ANS and b) psychological factors that modulate the expression of symptoms.  These two aspects of pathophysiology interact with one another.

November 2010

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