Fibromyalgia (FM) and other chronic pain syndromes are associated with cognitive dysfunction and attentional deficits, but the neural basis of such alterations is poorly understood
Dyscognition may be related to high levels of neural noise, understood as increased random electrical fluctuations that impair neural communication; however, this hypothesis has not yet been tested in any chronic pain condition.
Here we compared electroencephalographic activity (EEG) in 18 FM patients -with high self-reported levels of cognitive dysfunction- and 22 controls during a cognitive control task. Continue reading
Functional Reorganization of the Default Mode Network across Chronic Pain Conditions – PLoS One. – Sep 2014
Here we use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate functional changes in patients suffering from chronic back pain (CBP), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and knee osteoarthritis (OA).
We isolated five meaningful resting-state networks across the groups, of which only the default mode network (DMN) exhibited deviations from healthy controls.
All patient groups showed
- decreased connectivity of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) to the posterior constituents of the DMN, and
- increased connectivity to the insular cortex in proportion to the intensity of pain. Continue reading
Long-Term Neuropathic Pain Leads to Changes in Gene Expression in Brain Areas Associated With Depression by Nathan Fried on 19 Apr 2017
Over half of all chronic pain patients also develop depression. [only half?]
Researchers know that short-term pain affects brain areas implicated in depression, but few studies have scrutinized the effects of long-term pain on gene expression in those regions or examined gene expression alterations in multiple brain regions at once.
Now, researchers use network analysis along with a mouse model of chronic pain and a mouse model of stress-induced depression to identify changes in gene expression throughout the brain that may underlie the connection between pain and depression. Continue reading
The Consequences of Untreated Pain — Pain News Network – June 2017 – By Roger Chriss
Pain is an alarm signal requiring attention. Whether the pain lasts minutes or months, it demands a response.
To ignore pain is to invite serious consequences, from burned skin or an infected wound to a damaged joint or dysfunctional nerve. It is for this reason that healthcare professionals ask patients where it hurts.
Recent research found the consequences of untreated pain go farther and deeper than are generally recognized: Continue reading
More than one in 10 Americans, or 25.3 million adults, suffer from pain every day, according to NIH data released in 2015.
Chronic pain seems to be just that—a serious pain—but new research has found that ongoing pain is associated with an increased risk of dying early.
For the analysis, which was published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers looked at data from two large population cohorts of 50-year-olds.
They discovered that people who reported suffering from chronic pain had a nearly 30 percent increased risk of dying during the study.
It got worse as the pain became more intense:
People who said they had “quite a bit” of pain were 38 percent likely to die during the study, while those who were in “extreme” pain regularly had an 88 percent increased risk. Continue reading
This study gives us good reason to demand effective treatment for our pain.
Treat us for our pain now or for our dementia later.
Allowing a patient to remain in pain causes real physical and cognitive damage.
Opioid restrictions are hazardous to patients’ health
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that older people with persistent pain show quicker declines in memory as they age and are more likely to have dementia years later, an indication that chronic pain could somehow be related to changes in the brain that contribute to dementia. Continue reading
Chronic pain changes our immune systems | Channels – McGill University – By Cynthia Lee – Jan 2016
Many anti-opioid folks believe it’s always better not to prescribe/take opioids because they are so extremely dangerous, while pain is “just a feeling” that a person can “deal with”.
However, they are wrong. Pain is not just a “feeling”.
Leaving pain poorly controlled can lead to changes in how our genes are expressed, especially in the immune system.
Pain is the body’s alarm system, intended to get you moving to either fight or flee. It’s an extreme stressor which initiates a chain of biochemical consequences, including those that turn some of our genes on and off. Continue reading
Chronic Pain Harms The Brain — ScienceDaily — February 6, 2008
This article isn’t new and I’ve posted it before, but it’s a classic, providing scientific evidence of the damage done to our brains by uncontrolled chronic pain. We can use it to argue against the anti-opioid articles that claim addiction is much more serious than chronic pain.
While the media endlessly churns out stories of people succumbing to addiction, those of us living with constant severe pain relieved only by opioids remain invisible to the public. We remain unmentioned and unseen, while these three FALSEHOODS are propagated by the media.
- most people become addicted to opioid medication they are taking purely for pain control
- anyone taking opioids for more than a month is an addict and any pain they feel is either suffering from hyperalgesia or is “catastrophizing”.
- opioids have no legitimate use beyond limited post-injury pain (and cancer, of course)
Pain is assumed to be either curable (an injury) or in our heads (chronic). People believe chronic pain is only a “feeling” and doesn’t result in actual damage like an injury would. But they are WRONG.
Here is a list of posts (21, through Dec 2016) covering the damage caused by uncontrolled chronic pain, both physical and mental.
While the news is filled with stories of damages from opioid abuse, the damages of pain itself are never mentioned anywhere in the media.
This leaves the public completely ignorant of all the biological damages pain patients suffer if they are not provided effective pain relief quickly.
These are arguments for allowing pain patients access to opioids, showing how important it is to eradicate pain by any means possible as soon as possible. Continue reading