Tag Archives: neuroscience

hEDS Deficit in Pain Control Mechanisms

hEDS-related Pain May Be Linked to Deficit in Pain Control Mechanisms – by Marta Figueiredo – June 2020

Pain in people with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) likely is the result of an impaired pain suppression system that may lead to widespread pain, a study shows.

Well, that would certainly explain a lot!

contradict a previous theory that EDS-related pain was caused by damage in nerve fibers. Continue reading

Neuropathic Pain & Wind-Up Phenomenon

Managing Difficult Pain Cases: Neuropathic Pain & Wind-Up Phenomenon – WSAVA2013 – VIN – 2013

I was looking for information on the “pain wind-up” phenomenon and found this veterinary paper that explains it well – and without any special fuss about opioids, treating them the same as any other pain-relieving medication. What a refreshing change!

And with animals, there are no “biopsychosocial” factors to blame for increasing pain, so vets take it seriously and don’t just discount it as an attitude problem.

The options for analgesia are ever increasing as our understanding of pain physiology improves.

Yet for humans, there is still little understanding of chronic pain and few new treatments significantly different from the old.  Continue reading

Self-administration of Hydrocortisone for Pain

General theory of inflammation: patient self-administration of hydrocortisone safely achieves superior control of hydrocortisone-responding disorders by matching dosage with symptom intensity – free full-text /PMC6581742/ – J Inflamm Res. 2019;

Objective: To determine if patient self-administration of hydrocortisone will safely achieve superior symptom control for all hydrocortisone-responding disorders as it does for Addison’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: 2,480 participants with hydrocortisone-responding disorders were brought to a minimum symptom state using daily administered hydrocortisone tablets in a 24-week, open study.

Thereafter, participants used 5-day, low-dose hydrocortisone regimens to quench subsequent disorder exacerbations (flares) to maintain the minimum symptom state. Stressors such as emotional traumas, infections, allergies, and injuries were minimized to reduce disorder intensity, hydrocortisone consumption, and participant discomfort.   Continue reading

Microglia and Pain

Microglia may be the missing clue to solve the opioid epidemic – Sara WhitestoneNeuroscience – Université de Bordeaux – May 2019

neuroscientists have discovered a new therapeutic target for managing pain: microglia.

Pain, as an acute sensation, serves as a warning to help your body prevent injury or avoid further harm.

the message from your stubbed toe is forced to go through a series of checkpoints—or gates—which will either open or shut to control the intensity of pain you perceive.

When pain becomes chronic, this signaling and the gate controls go haywire. Nerves become hyper-sensitive, firing off messages to the brain even in the absence of an injury.   Continue reading

Modulation of pain by estrogens

Here are 4 PubMed scientific studies exploring how estrogen affects all different aspects of pain: its sensation, its interaction with opioid receptors, and its memory. Estrogen is clearly important, but the interactions with pain sensation are very complex.

Just like with hormone replacement therapy, the effects of estrogen on pain probably differ a great deal between individuals.

Pronociceptive and Antinociceptive Effects of Estradiol through Endogenous Opioid Neurotransmission in Women – NCBI – May 2006

Prominent interindividual and sex-dependent differences have been described in responses to sustained pain and other stressful stimuli. Variations in μ-opioid receptor-mediated endogenous opioid neurotransmission may underlie some of these processes.   Continue reading

Different Pain, Different Neural Circuits

Responses to External Threats and Sustained Pain Travel Via Different Neural Circuits – Practical Pain Management – By Kerri Wachter with Qiufu Ma, PhD – Jan 2019

New study outcomes in mice suggest that common pain measurement tools may be inadequate.

Different neural pathways appear to underlie

  • reflexive responses to external threats and
  • coping responses to sustained pain

I’m surprised this hasn’t been obvious to researchers because it’s certainly clear to pain patients. The experience of acute pain, like stubbing your toe, is wildly different than that of long-term pain, like failed back surgery, so it seems obvious to me that different aspects of our nervous system are involved.  Continue reading

Enhanced Interoception Links EDS and Anxiety

How Enhanced Interoception links EDS and Anxiety  – Wikipedia

I wasn’t aware of the complexity involved in “feeling what I’m feeling”, so I’m posting relevant parts of this extensive article.

Knowing a bit about interoception is critical to understanding how a disorder of the connective tissue like EDS can result in altered emotions, mostly anxiety, through biochemical processes.

Interoception is contemporarily defined as the sense of the internal state of the body.   Continue reading

Link between anxiety and joint hypermobility

Neuroimaging and psychophysiological investigation of the link between anxiety, enhanced affective reactivity and interoception in people with joint hypermobility – May 2014

This study makes connections between the acute perception of our internal body states, which trigger excessive activation of our amygdala, with anxiety.

In lay terms, we are too sensitive and too responsive, thus unable to hold life’s rougher times at an arm’s distance. It’s as though we lack the protective barrier built into the “hardware” of most people to shield them from the extremes of their environment.

Objective: Anxiety is associated with increased physiological reactivity and also increased “interoceptive” sensitivity to such changes in internal bodily arousal.   Continue reading

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

Turning Microbes Into Living Factories

Frances Arnold Turns Microbes Into Living Factories – NY Times – By Natalie Angier May 28, 2019

I’m posting this just because it fascinates me and I hope it stirs interest and curiosity in my readers as well.

The engineer’s mantra, said Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is: “Keep it simple, stupid.” But Dr. Arnold, who last year became just the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is the opposite of stupid, and her stories sometimes turn rococo.

…another of Dr. Arnold’s maxims:

“Give up the thought that you have control. You don’t.   Continue reading