Editor’s Memo: Spinal Fluid Flow and Pain Management – practicalpainmanagement.com – Editor’s Memo June 2017 By Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH
Spinal fluid flow (SFF) [also called cerebrospinal fluid, CSF] has been a silent subject in pain management.
This has to change.
For a while, pain practitioners have unknowingly been utilizing a variety of measures that likely enhance SFF.
Progressive research that involves SFF has shown how it occurs, how it may promote pain, and how it may impede treatment efforts. Continue reading
Shape shifting pain: chronification of back pain shifts brain representation from nociceptive to emotional circuits | Brain
Chronic pain conditions are associated with abnormalities in brain structure and function.
Moreover, some studies indicate that brain activity related to the subjective perception of chronic pain may be distinct from activity for acute pain.
We report results in relation to meta-analytic probabilistic maps related to the terms pain, emotion, and reward Continue reading
A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D. – The New York Times
ATTENTION deficit hyperactivity disorder is now the most prevalent psychiatric illness of young people in America, affecting 11 percent of them at some point between the ages of 4 and 17
Recent neuroscience research shows that people with A.D.H.D. are actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking — a trait that had, until relatively recently, a distinct evolutionary advantage.
Compared with the rest of us, they have sluggish and underfed brain reward circuits, so much of everyday life feels routine and understimulating.
To compensate, they are drawn to new and exciting experiences and get famously impatient and restless with the regimented structure that characterizes our modern world. In short, people with A.D.H.D. may not have a disease, so much as a set of behavioral traits that don’t match the expectations of our contemporary culture. Continue reading
Infant and Adult Pain Response | Dr. Anne Murphy, Georgia State University | WAMC
Anne Murphy, associate professor of neuroscience at George State University, is observing the relationship between pain felt as an infant and the related long-term effects.
Unalleviated pain during the perinatal period is associated with permanent decreases in pain sensitivity, blunted cortisol responses and higher rates of neuropsychiatric disorders.
To date, the mechanism(s) by which these long-term changes in stress and pain behavior occur, and whether such alterations can be prevented by appropriate analgesia at the time of injury, remains unclear. Continue reading
Study shows dopamine may play role in chronic pain – Medical News Today | 11 May 2015
Researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Dallas and others traced the path of pain signals between the brain and spinal cord in mice and found removing a group of dopamine-containing cells selectively reduced chronic pain.
Ted Price, associate professor in behavioral and brain sciences at UT Dallas, says the study reveals a new role for dopamine in helping maintain chronic pain states, and suggests:
“This may open up new opportunities to target medicines that could reverse chronic pain.”
In people with chronic pain, their nerve cells continue to send pain signals to the brain – even in the absence of injury – but the causes of this are not known. Continue reading
Chronic pain isn’t all in the brain, which is good news for sufferers
So here we are, in the 21st century and every fifth person is suffering from this health problem, which we don’t understand. A health problem, which can be so debilitating that those experiencing it often stop working, stop socialising and stop doing things they like doing, or should be doing.
Science has almost adopted the idea that pain ought to be all in the brain. There is sophisticated research showing that some brain areas light up more when we are in pain. When we recover, these areas stop lighting up.
So scientists have developed the following concept: after injury or operation our tissues will heal, and normally all goes well – unless we are “vulnerable”. The idea is that the vulnerable brain retains memory of the trauma with its associated pain: it develops “abnormal neuroplasticity”.
Sensory Distress: The Other Side of Fibromyalgia – Health Rising
Researchers have used heat, electricity, chemicals, and pressure to evoke pain in FM patients and controls, and in every study people with FM have felt pain at lower levels of stimulation than healthy controls.
People with Fibromyalgia report they have problems with sensitivity to stimuli in general. This suggests FM is not just a pain condition, but that the FM patient’s entire sensory apparatus is a bit out of kilter
One study finding reduced electrical responses in the sensory cortices of the brain to sounds in FM suggested that this part of the brain was, oddly enough, under-responding to stimuli, not over-responding.
This is a different pattern than has normally been seen with pain
Information for Medical Providers « Central Pain Syndrome Foundation
Central pain syndrome (CPS) is a neurological disorder consisting of agonizing pain signals of many differing types at once: burning, freezing, shocking, aching, crushing, tearing, and spasticity. It has been characterized as the worst pain known to man.
It is caused by damage to or injury of the Central Nervous System (CNS), which includes the brain, brainstem and spinal cord.
It is aggressive, never ending and disabling, making normal life immensely painful and incredibly difficult. The medications and treatments used to fight it are very limited and highly ineffective. There is presently no cure.
Fibromyalgia linked to decreased brain connectivity – Medical News Today
new study from Sweden finds fibromyalgia is linked to abnormal activity in parts of the brain that process pain signals and link them to other regions… they found decreased connectivity between brain areas that process pain and sensorimotor signals.
The results showed that the fibromyalgia participants had significantly increased pain sensitivity compared with the control group.
The team found differences in brain patterns between the healthy participants and those with fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia participants showed “functional decoupling” between areas of the brain that process pain signals and other parts, including those that control sensorimotor activity.
The authors suggest this reduction in brain connectivity could impair pain perception.
This may help explain the previous post, Hypersensitivity in Fibromyalgia Patients
Brain Stimulation in the Treatment of Chronic Neuropathic and Non-Cancerous Pain
This is a very long and detailed free full-text article from the NIH:
Here, we discuss common clinical and investigational methods of neuromodulation.
Compared to clinical spinal cord stimulation (SCS), investigational techniques of cerebral neuromodulation, both invasive [deep brain stimulation (DBS) and motor cortical stimulation (MCS)] and noninvasive [repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)], may be more advantageous.