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
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
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: 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
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
Bad Engine? Is a Wimpy Motor Cortex Causing the Pain in Fibromyalgia (and ME/CFS)? – Health Rising – by 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 microcirculation – are 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
Correcting the Missing Piece in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Part 1: Discovery – by Diana Driscoll, OD, President of Genetic Disease Investigators – Jan 2016
This article explains the “Driscoll Theory”, which posits that “extremely low levels of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine” is causing the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She makes a convincing argument:
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) can involve
- the central nervous system (cognition, executive function, short- term memory),
- the peripheral nervous system (muscle weakness, fatigue with exertion), and
- the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digestion).
Scientists Partially Revive Disembodied Pig Brains, Raising Huge Questions – gizmodo.com– by George Dvorsky – Apr 2019
Researchers from Yale have developed a system capable of restoring some functionality to the brains of decapitated pigs for at least 10 hours after death.
Developed by neuroscientist Nenad Sestan and his colleagues from Yale University, the system was shown to restore circulation and some cellular functionality to intact pig brains removed from the skull.
The brains were hooked up to the system, known as BrainEx, four hours after death was declared and after severe oxygen starvation, or anoxia, had set in. Continue reading
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
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