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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Science - Pain And The Brain

Image from this site

As you may remember, if you've been visiting for a while, I'm dealing with chronic pain, and have been for about four years now. It makes me crabby. So I was overjoyed to find an article in Vol 168 of Science News, titled "Brain Training Puts Big Hurt on Intense Pain." Hey, I don't title the articles, I just report them.

The article reports on work done by neuroscientist Sean C. Mackey of Stanford and his colleagues. In essence, it posits that brain-imaging technology allows people to use mental exercises to control the neural region associated with pain perception. Regrettably, more testing is needed before this technique is considered a treatment for chronic pain.

Experiments conducted by the team showed that high levels of pain were accompanied by pronounced blood flow (a sign of intense neural activity) in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex.

The article notes that biofeedback techniques (which I had hoped to investigate and possibly adopt, having been told they were effective) are not successful in reducing pain. I'll update this post if I come across any relevant or useful information in my research.

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