Suicidality in chronic pain: a review of the prevalence, risk factors and psychological links. – PubMed – May 2006
This study was done over 10 years ago, when the “crackdown” on opioids was just beginning. Since then, the situation for pain patients has become infinitely worse and many no longer have access to effective pain
Increasing numbers of pain patients are committing suicide because there is no other relief from their crushing pain. Continue reading
Opioid Lawsuits Threaten Lives of Pain Sufferers– April 28, 2018 by Lynn Webster, M.D.
Implications for People With Chronic Pain
Several lawsuits have been filed against several opioid manufacturers, distributors, and physicians for participating in what was allegedly a scheme to cause incalculable harm for profit. I am one of the physicians named as an alleged “conspirator.”
The opioid lawsuits are far more than legal matters that involve the defendants. They also have serious implications for people in pain. Continue reading
Pain as a risk factor for common mental disorders. Results from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2: a longitudinal, population-based study – PAIN: April 2018
I’ve read too many articles that insinuate chronic pain arises from pre-existing mental issues and claim the focus should be on the mental disorder more than the pain. (This is part of the popular idea of “catastrophizing“)
But this article makes it clear that pain leads to “psychological” disorders, not the other way around as many would like us to believe. It is known that the unremitting assault by pain is a form of chronic stress that damages brain structure and connectivity. Continue reading
7 Ways that Chronic Pain Changes the Brain – by Margaret Aranda, MD – July 2017
An automated meta-analysis of 420 imaging studies – pain’s effect on the brain.
Neurosynth.org uses functional connectivity and coactivation mapping from thousands of MRI images (each comprised of many cuts of images) are automated to show a final result of pain’s effect on the brain. Created and maintained by Tal Yarkoni. Supported by NIH Grant R01MH096906. Continue reading
Is Fibromyalgia Making You Older? – Health Rising
Being in chronic pain is no fun, that’s for sure. Think of any area of your life – your work, your relationships, your mood, your finances – and see if chronic pain doesn’t impact it negatively. But is being in chronic pain itself dangerous? Some in the medical profession give chronic pain short shrift.
They assert that it’s the result of a false alarm from your central nervous system; i.e. while it’s uncomfortable, it doesn’t constitute a threat to you physiologically.
The pain in FM is certainly different from normal pain. Continue reading
How Fear of Losing Their Doctor Affects Chronic Pain Patients – National Pain Report – December 2, 2017 – By Linda Cheek
As more doctors are attacked for treating chronic pain in the country, chronic pain patients are finding fewer doctors willing to provide treatment.
Also, with the current non-scientifically based stance that opioids are bad, doctors are unwilling to treat appropriately.
As a result, 73% of physicians and 82% of pharmacists responding to a recent Medscape survey say that the opioid epidemic has changed their prescribing habits. Continue reading
Persistent Pain Tied to Memory Decline And Dementia in Elders – Pain Medicine News – Nov 27, 2017
Persistent pain is associated with accelerated memory decline and development of dementia in the elderly.
According to researchers, elderly patients who reported having persistent pain experienced an accelerated decline in functional independence.
Taking away our opioid pain relief to end the “opioid crisis” will then lead to a “dementia crisis” as our pain levels rise – that is, if we can even continue to live with our pain untreated. Continue reading
Increased neural noise and impaired brain synchronization in fibromyalgia patients during cognitive interference | Scientific Reports | July 2017
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