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Effects of calcitonin on human auditory and visual evoked brain potentials

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Besides its Ca++-regulative effects, calcitonin is known to diminish sensitivity to painful stimuli. The present study aimed to clarify whether calcitonin has similar effects on stimulus processing in other modalities. Effects of calcitonin were assessed on brain potentials recorded from the human scalp which were evoked either by auditory clicks or visual checkerboard pattern-reversals. Twelve healthy men were tested in a double-blind intra-subject design receiving either 0.1 IU/kg salmon calcitonin (sCT) or 1.0 IU/kg sCT or saline solution during a 20 min IV infusion. sCT significantly increased latency of wave V of the brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP). Effects on BAEP wave V increased in magnitude with increasing dose of sCT and with decreasing intensity of the click stimulus. There was also a slight increase in latency of the N80 of the pattern-reversal visual evoked potential (PR-VEP). Additionally, subjects rated themselves as less activated following the high dose of sCT compared to placebo. The pattern of results is in accord with a slowing or inhibitory influence of calcitonin on auditory and visual sensory processing, thus paralleling findings concerning calcitonin effects on the perception of painful somatosensory stimuli.

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Correspondence to Reinhard Pietrowsky.

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Pietrowsky, R., Dentler, M., Fehm, H.L. et al. Effects of calcitonin on human auditory and visual evoked brain potentials. Psychopharmacology 107, 50–54 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02244964

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Key words

  • Calcitonin
  • CGRP
  • Evoked brain potentials
  • Sensory processing
  • Cortisol
  • ACTH
  • Activation