Tag Archives: brain

The Landscape of Chronic Pain

The Landscape of Chronic Pain: Broader Perspectives – free full-text /PMC6572619/ – by Mark I. Johnson – May 2019

Here is a recent lengthy review of what’s known about chronic pain: the various aspects of various types of pain under various circumstances.

This article shows the folly of making any numerical one-dimensional measurement of chronic pain, which can arise from a variety of causes, vary greatly over time and location, and make such intrusive incursions into our inner lives.

This special issue on matters related to chronic pain aims to draw on research and scholarly discourse from an eclectic mix of areas and perspectives.   Continue reading

Weak Motor Cortex may lead to Pain in FM & ME/CFS

Bad Engine? Is a Wimpy Motor Cortex Causing the Pain in Fibromyalgia (and ME/CFS)? – Health Risingby Cort Johnson | Apr 2019

Studies suggest it’s possible that every [problematic] aspect of muscle activity – from oxygen uptake by the muscles, to mitochondrial functioning, to lactate build up, to the ability of the muscles to relax, to problems with the microcirculationare present to some degree in fibromyalgia.

Every time you pick up a pen, hit a key on a keyboard, or turn on your smartphone, the premotor and supplementary motor areas of your motor cortex plan the movement first

Then your primary motor cortex sends a message to the muscles to act.    Continue reading

Brain abnormalities are Consequence Not Cause of pain

Brain Gray Matter Decrease in Chronic Pain Is the Consequence and Not the Cause of Pain | Journal of Neuroscience Nov 2009

If you can reverse brain “damage” by effectively treating the patient’s chronic pain, it seems pretty clear that the chronic pain was the cause.

This means we don’t have to accept the idea that abnormalities in our brains are what’s causing our pain (which some have hinted at).

Recently, local morphologic alterations of the brain in areas ascribable to the transmission of pain were reported in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Although some authors discussed these findings as damage or loss of brain gray matter, one of the key questions is whether these structural alterations in the cerebral pain-transmitting network precede or succeed the chronicity of pain.   Continue reading

Variability in the human response to pain

Intrinsic variability in the human response to pain is assembled from multiple, dynamic brain processes – ScienceDirect – July 2013

The stimulus-evoked response is the principle measure used to elucidate the timing and spatial location of human brain activity.

Brain and behavioural responses to pain

  • are influenced by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors and
  • display considerable, natural trial-by-trial variability.   Continue reading

CerebroSpinal Fluid Flow and Pain Management

Editor’s Memo: Spinal Fluid Flow and Pain Managementpracticalpainmanagement.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

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.

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 Pain Permanently Alters Brain

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

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

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”.

Continue reading