chronic pain damages brain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I posted this thread specifically for someone else on the board. Please respect that. If you have issues with this please start a seperate post. Thanks. gap

    gapsych
    6/16/10 11:44 AM Chronic Pain Harms the Brain


    For Fibrolady.

    This article describes how pain can cause many of the ailments associated with our illness.There are some great visuals in the article that unfortunatlely can not be uploaded on this format.

    I had to chuckle when I saw the phrase, "never shuts up" in reference to the part of our brain responds when in chronic pain. Such an apt description.

    Maybe this article should be put in the PH library. Anyone know how you do that?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205171755.htm


    Science News

    Pain Harms The Brain

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2008) — People with unrelenting pain don't only suffer from the non-stop sensation of throbbing pain. They also have trouble sleeping, are often depressed, anxious and even have difficulty making simple decisions.

    In a new study, investigators at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine have identified a clue that may explain how suffering long-term pain could trigger these other pain-related symptoms.

    Researchers found that in a healthy brain all the regions exist in a state of equilibrium. When one region is active, the others quiet down. But in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion "never shuts up," said Dante Chialvo, lead author and associate research professor of physiology at the Feinberg School. "The areas that are affected fail to deactivate when they should."

    They are stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections to each other.

    This is the first demonstration of brain disturbances in chronic pain patients not directly related to the sensation of pain.

    Chialvo and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of people with chronic low back pain and a group of pain-free volunteers while both groups were tracking a moving bar on a computer screen. The study showed the pain sufferers performed the task well but "at the expense of using their brain differently than the pain-free group," Chialvo said.

    When certain parts of the cortex were activated in the pain-free group, some others were deactivated, maintaining a cooperative equilibrium between the regions. This equilibrium also is known as the resting state network of the brain. In the chronic pain group, however, one of the nodes of this network did not quiet down as it did in the pain-free subjects.

    This constant firing of neurons in these regions of the brain could cause permanent damage, Chialvo said. "We know when neurons fire too much they may change their connections with other neurons and or even die because they can't sustain high activity for so long," he explained.

    'If you are a chronic pain patient, you have pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every minute of your life," Chialvo said. "That permanent perception of pain in your brain makes these areas in your brain continuously active. This continuous dysfunction in the equilibrium of the brain can change the wiring forever and could hurt the brain."

    Chialvo hypothesized the subsequent changes in wiring "may make it harder for you to make a decision or be in a good mood to get up in the morning. It could be that pain produces depression and the other reported abnormalities because it disturbs the balance of the brain as a whole."

    He said his findings show it is essential to study new approaches to treat patients not just to control their pain but also to evaluate and prevent the dysfunction that may be generated in the brain by the chronic pain.

    The study will be published Feb. 6 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Chialvo's collaborators in this project are Marwan Baliki, a graduate student; Paul Geha, a post-doctoral fellow, and Vania Apkarian, professor of physiology and of anesthesiology, all at the Feinberg School.






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    BroadCasting
    6/16/10 12:08 PM gap


    I can believe it.....how do I fix it?







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    gapsych
    6/16/10 12:21 PM BC



    From what I have researched it seems that some of the pain medications can have a neuroprotective effect because it blocks the pain receptors from firing. I know that ADs can have a neuroprotective effect and MAY help with neurological conditions such dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons because of their chemical reaction, but don't know if there have been actual studies. I will have to check that.

    Getting the right combo of pain meds. can be quite frustrating. Tramadol really helps me.

    This study shows that pain can indeed make us depressed, foggy, labile or at least affect the same regions of the brain. Something we could have told them years ago, eh? But this certainly shows how this assumption is indeed true.

    Is this what you are asking?

    gap

    ETA You could also try wrapping duct tape around your head. Tinfoil might also work. :>)

    [This Message was Edited on 06/16/2010]




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    6/16/10 2:23 PM if Ionly had a brain


    Gap, Thank you for the info.







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    aussiewoman
    6/16/10 3:15 PM I'm sure glad I don't have to deal with pain TOO


    CFS fatigue is more than enough, thanks.
    You guys have that as well. I sometimes feel almost guilty I don't ... almost.

    Did you know chronic, untreated depression has a similar effect? Over time, it actually alters the physiology of the brain. Damage is usually irreversible.

    -- Get it treated.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/18/2010]
  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


    Fredt

    You might want to start your own thread. Just a suggestion. Two times?

    gap
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


    Fredt

    You might want to start your own thread. Just a suggestion.

    gap