Tag Archives: neuroscience

Nerve Growth Factor: Neuroscience and Therapy – May 2015

Nerve Growth Factor: A Focus on Neuroscience and Therapy – free full-text /PMC4812798/ – 2015 May

Here is more information on “nerve growth factor”, NGF, the reduction of which is being proposed as a pain reliever. This article details the many positive functions of NGF in our nervous system (and eyes), so it really doesn’t seem like a good idea to minimize it.

Nerve growth factor (NGF) is the firstly discovered and best characterized neurotrophic factor, known to play a critical protective role in the development and survival of sympathetic, sensory and forebrain cholinergic neurons.

NGF promotes neuritis outgrowth both in vivo and in vitro and nerve cell recovery after ischemic, surgical or chemical injuries. Continue reading

Study: Predicting Value of Pain and Analgesia

Predicting Value of Pain and Analgesia: Nucleus Accumbens Response to Noxious Stimuli Changes in the Presence of Chronic Pain: Neuron – April 2010


  • NAc predicts the reward value for expected pain relief in healthy subjects
  • NAc predicts the salience or arousal for imminent pain
  • Pain relief causes distinct NAc activities in healthy versus chronic pain subjects

Continue reading

Chronic Pain Alters Experience of Acute Pain

Chronic Pain Alters Experience of Acute Pain | Medpage Today – by Crystal Phend Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today April 2010

Chronic pain may reverse the neural response to acute pain in some ways, researchers found.

The central nervous system sensory activation patterns and subjective sensation of pain were largely identical between healthy volunteers and chronic back pain sufferers in a brain imaging study reported in the April 15 issue of Neuron.

The difference was in how the nucleus accumbens region of the brain interpreted acute pain as a motivation for behavior, according to A. Vania Apkarian, PhD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues.   Continue reading

Inflammation → Hyperalgesia → Chronic Pain

C-reactive protein and cold-pressor tolerance in the general population: PAIN – July 2017

I’m reposting this study because it explains that hyperalgesia, which is blamed on opioids, arises from chronic inflammation and the numerous chemical changes this causes in the body over time.

Pain and inflammation are related:

systemic inflammation may lead to a variety of pain states, and, in turn, persistent pain causes an upward adjustment of proinflammatory mediators that sometimes elicit a prolonged low-grade immune response, leading to long-lasting, subclinical inflammation.
Continue reading

Without New Proteins, Chronic Pain Cannot Take Off

Lost in Translation: Without New Proteins, Chronic Pain Cannot Take Off – Pain Research Forum – by Nathan Fried – Feb 2018

A first-in-class RNA decoy blocks PABP from attaching to messenger RNA, preventing translation and pain sensitization.

Pain sensitivity after an injury, such as damage to a nerve or an inflammatory insult, involves the synthesis of new proteins in pain neurons.

This process is thought to play a role in the transition from acute to chronic pain, suggesting that blocking it may prevent chronic pain from developing in the first place. Now, a new paper reports a novel strategy to inhibit protein synthesis and stop pain in mice.   Continue reading

Opioid Antagonists in Chronic Pain Management

A Fresh Look at Opioid Antagonists in Chronic Pain Management – October 16, 2017 – By Dmitry M. Arbuck, MD

The article explains how these drugs are *not* effective for the pain from physical damage but are able to reduce the pain from neurological “central pain sensitization”.

As clinicians reduce their reliance on opioids for the treatment of pain, they are turning to a wider array of pharmacological tools and approaches to help overcome deficiencies of opioids, such as treatment-limiting side effects, and as aids in relieving difficult-to-treat pain conditions.

One such approach is the use of opioid antagonists. The use of opioid antagonists—in particular, naltrexone and naloxone—in chronic pain management is not new, but it deserves more recognition and acceptance than it enjoys presently.   Continue reading

How Your Mind Reacts to Stress

How Your Mind Reacts to Stress – May 2018 / By Tali Sharot

Some of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime will occur while you feel stressed and anxious.

Do we become better or worse at processing and using information under such circumstances?

Many of us live as if we are in real danger, constantly ready to put out the flames of demanding emails and text messages.   Continue reading

A Pathogenic Autoantibody Causes Pain

When the Immune System Attacks Its Own Proteins, Pain Can Emerge – RELIEF: PAIN RESEARCH NEWS, INSIGHTS AND IDEAS – April 2018

The results of this study are pretty amazing: injecting a “pain protein” from humans into normal mice caused the mice to feel pain.

This directly contradicts the popular belief that pain isn’t a physical entity in itself, but rather a bio-psycho-social disorder. Now we know that’s simply not true.

Unremitting pain may eventually create a bio-psycho-social disorder by leading to deconditioning, depression, and isolation, but those are consequences, not causes.    Continue reading

Fibromyalgia & Rheumatoid Arthritis Features Overlap

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

Endogenous versus Medical Opioid Actions

Study upends conventional view of opioid mechanism of action | National Institutes of Health (NIH) – May 10, 2018

NIH-funded scientists find new molecular target for developing safer pain medications.

A new discovery shows that opioids used to treat pain, such as morphine and oxycodone, produce their effects by binding to receptors inside neurons, contrary to conventional wisdom that they acted only on the same surface receptors as endogenous opioids, which are produced naturally in the brain.   Continue reading