Chronic pain and chronic fatigue : two different phenomena of the same central sensitization mechanism?
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Chronic pain and fatigue are two debilitating conditions causing great difficulties in everyday life for the ones afflicted, as well as challenges for mental health professionals. Both conditions are of unknown origin and are difficult to correctly diagnose because of a high degree of symptom overlap, and comorbidities contributing to further complications. Research points towards a possible mechanism of central sensitization underlying both conditions. Indications of such a mechanism should be reflected in the neural activity of the brain, functionally described through ERPs. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the EEG-recordings of a group of patients with chronic pain diagnoses and a group of patients with chronic fatigue diagnoses with each other, as well as compare both groups to a healthy control group to investigate whether there were any differential markers to be found with qEEG. A MANOVA-analysis detected significant differences between these three groups, and a follow-up discriminant analysis revealed that there were two dimensions the groups differed along when combinations of the ERP-components were considered. Along one dimension both patient groups were discriminated from the healthy control group, while the pain group was discriminated from both the healthy control group and the fatigue patient group along another dimension. A Bonferroni-correction resulted in statistical non-significant differences between the groups when comparing single components. However, as some of the components were strongly significant before such corrections were made the results warrant further studies investigating these components. Limitations of this study are discussed.