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
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
Why People With Chronic Pain May Die Earlier – Korin Miller – June 8, 2017
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
Chronic pain linked to increased risk of dementia in study of older adults – Medical News Today – June 2017
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