Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7247514, 17 pages
Research Article

Brain Oscillations Elicited by the Cold Pressor Test: A Putative Index of Untreated Essential Hypertension

1Department of Clinical Therapeutics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
21st Department of Psychiatry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, “Eginition” Hospital, 115 28 Athens, Greece
3University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI), Athens, Greece

Correspondence should be addressed to Christos Papageorgiou

Received 18 December 2016; Accepted 10 April 2017; Published 9 May 2017

Academic Editor: Tomohiro Katsuya

Copyright © 2017 Christos Papageorgiou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Essential hypertension is associated with reduced pain sensitivity of unclear aetiology. This study explores this issue using the Cold Pressor Test (CPT), a reliable pain/stress model, comparing CPT-related EEG activity in first episode hypertensives and controls. Method. 22 untreated hypertensives and 18 matched normotensives underwent 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). EEG recordings were taken before, during, and after CPT exposure. Results. Significant group differences in CPT-induced EEG oscillations were covaried with the most robust cardiovascular differentiators by means of a Canonical Analysis. Positive correlations were noted between ABPM variables and Delta (1–4 Hz) oscillations during the tolerance phase; in high-alpha (10–12 Hz) oscillations during the stress unit and posttest phase; and in low-alpha (8–10 Hz) oscillations during CPT phases overall. Negative correlations were found between ABPM variables and Beta2 oscillations (16.5–20 Hz) during the posttest phase and Gamma (28.5–45 Hz) oscillations during the CPT phases overall. These relationships were localised at several sites across the cerebral hemispheres with predominance in the right hemisphere and left frontal lobe. Conclusions. These findings provide a starting point for increasing our understanding of the complex relationships between cerebral activation and cardiovascular functioning involved in regulating blood pressure changes.