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Ultra-micronized Palmitoylethanolamide Effects on Sleep-wake Rhythm and Neuropathic Pain Phenotypes in Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Open-label, Randomized Controlled Study

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Background: Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome often suffer from fragmentary sleep. This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of treatment with ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide in reducing pain intensity and improving quality of sleep in patients with neuropathic pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Methods: An open, controlled study was conducted on 42 patients awaiting carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, suffering from sleep disorders and painful symptoms and randomized into two groups. One group received ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide (600 mg twice daily) during the pre- and postsurgery periods, while the other group did not receive any treatment except surgical therapy. The primary outcome measure was sleep quality assessment by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, with secondary outcome as painful symptomatology intensity evaluated by the Numeric Rating Scale.

Results: At the end of the pre-surgery period (T1) there was a highly significant improvement (p<0.0001) in overall sleep quality with an increase of continuous sleep time and a reduction of sleep latency and disturbances as well as a significant mitigation (p<0.0001) of painful symptoms in favor of the treated group.

Conclusion: Disturbed sleep patterns are very common in patients suffering from neuropathic pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Our results, albeit preliminary, suggest that ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide administration favors a clear improvement of sleep quality, confirming a correlation between sleep disorders and pain intensity.

Keywords: Carpal tunnel syndrome; Hyperalgesia; Painfulness; Sleep duration; Sleep latency; Sleep quality; Ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

This article was made available online on May 17, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Ultra-micronized Palmitoylethanolamide Effects on Sleep-wake Rhythm and Neuropathic Pain Phenotypes in Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Open-label, Randomized Controlled Study".

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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