Effective Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain in Humans Reverses Abnormal Brain Anatomy and Function | Journal of Neuroscience – Free full-text article – May 2011
Though also not new, this study is a follow up on an earlier post: Brain abnormalities are Consequence Not Cause of pain (2009). The article below contains dozens of links to further information.
Chronic pain is associated with reduced brain gray matter and impaired cognitive ability.
In this longitudinal study, we assessed whether neuroanatomical and functional abnormalities were reversible and dependent on treatment outcomes. Continue reading
Neuroimaging for Chronic Pain: IASP Consensus Statement – by Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC October 19, 2017 – repost of this critical article
health and disability insurance companies seek methods to confirm the pain status of beneficiaries to corroborate self-report, which is the current gold standard for pain assessment in clinical and research settings.
All parts of our health system (and its interface to the legal and financial systems) have difficulties with self-reported symptoms because they are all based on numerical values that are independently verifiable.
A blood test or x-ray taken by your doctor will not yield significant differences from the ones taken by your insurance company or lawyer, so these are seen as “factual evidence”. Continue reading
Can brainwaves be detected in lime Jell-O – “Dear Cecil” – Jun 2010
The Jell-O brainwave researcher was neurologist Adrian Upton, who conducted pioneering work on the electroencephalography of gelatin desserts starting in the 1960s.
Upton wasn’t trying to be a wise guy — he wanted to make a serious point about brain death, which became a matter of critical importance once life-support equipment made it possible to keep a body functioning even though its owner had checked out.
This made me think that if a patient’s brainwaves are the same as lime Jell-O, they should probably be considered dead, but what about other flavors? Continue reading
Scanning Dead Salmon in fMRI Machine Highlights Risk of Red Herrings – Wired.com – by Lexis Madrigal – Sep 2009
Here’s a humorous, but also dead serious (pardon the pun), study pointing out the HUGE problems with fMRI brain scans that supposedly tell us something about what we’re thinking or feeling.
Neuroscientist Craig Bennett purchased a whole Atlantic salmon, took it to a lab at Dartmouth, and put it into an fMRI machine used to study the brain. The beautiful fish was to be the lab’s test object as they worked out some new methods.
So, as the fish sat in the scanner, they showed it “a series of photographs depicting human individuals in social situations.” To maintain the rigor of the protocol (and perhaps because it was hilarious), the salmon, just like a human test subject, “was asked to determine what emotion the individual in the photo must have been experiencing.” Continue reading
Clinical evidence for cervical myelopathy due to Chiari malformation and spinal stenosis in a non-randomized group of patients with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia | SpringerLink – April 2004
While patients with fibromyalgia report symptoms consistent with cervical myelopathy, a detailed neurological evaluation is not routine.
We sought to determine if patients with fibromyalgia manifest objective neurological signs of cervical myelopathy.
I had never heard of this link between fibromyalgia and cervical myelopathy so this would be consistent with the theory that many fibromyalgia patients actually have EDS, which also leads to such types of cervical problems.
It seems this excellent information from over 10 years ago has been ignored by the medical establishment. Continue reading
AI can spot the pain from a disease some doctors still think is fake – By Olivia Goldhill – August 9, 2018
In the 16 years since Liptan had her illness [fibromyalgia] so summarily dismissed in 2002, there are still those who believe fibromyalgia isn’t “real.”
There’s no tissue damage that explains the pain fibromyalgia patients experience all over their body, and contemporary medicine struggles to treat and even accept an illness where pain seems to be rooted in the mind or brain, rather than a bodily injury.
Artificial intelligence, though, has the potential to make a diagnosis in minutes. Last year, researchers used machine learning to distinguish the brain scans of those with fibromyalgia from those without—with 93% accuracy. Continue reading
Central mechanisms of pain revealed through functional and structural MRI. – J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;
MR-based brain imaging technologies provide a suite of functional and structural metrics that can be used to test hypotheses about the CNS mechanisms underlying pain perception and chronification, from a cellular level to a systems level.
Two types of functional MRI discussed in this review provide insight into pain mechanisms: Continue reading
Imaging Study Finds Rheumatoid Arthritis Shares Neurobiological Features of Fibromyalgia – Pain Medicine News
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have increased levels of fibromyalgianess (FMness)—a continuous measure of fibromyalgia—show neurobiological features that are consistently observed in fibromyalgia patients, according to a study that used neuroimaging.
“This is the first study to provide neuroimaging evidence that rheumatoid arthritis [RA] is a mixed pain state,” said senior author Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology and the director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
I believe this is true for me and my EDS + Fibromyalgia: the endlessly repeating small injuries and pains from EDS eventually sensitized my nervous system into a state of “fibromyalgia-ness”. I can easily imagine the same would happen with RA. Continue reading
Here are excerpts from several articles that investigate the effects of antiepileptics, like gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), which are increasingly prescribed for pain simply because they are not opioids.
This is a followup from a previous post: Some antiepileptic drugs increase risk of dementia.
Adverse cognitive effect of gabapentin [Neurontin] in individuals with spinal cord injury: preliminary findings. – PubMed – NCBI – Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2018 Jan Continue reading
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