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Supported by NIH NINDS NS 35115 (AVA) and NIA AG00940 (DRG)
 

Summary: WE 342
Supported by NIH NINDS NS 35115 (AVA)
and NIA AG00940 (DRG)
INCREASED BRAIN ATROPHY IN CHRONIC BACK PAIN:
PAIN HURTS THE BRAIN
A Vania Apkarian1*, Yamaya Sosa1, Sreepadma Sonty2, Robert E. Levy3, R. Norman Harden5,
Todd B. Parrish4 & Darren R. Gitelman2, 4
1 Department of Physiology and Institute of Neuroscience, 2 Departments of Neurology, 3 Neurosurgery, 4 Radiology, and 5 Rehabilitation Institute of
Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
Ten percent of adults suffer from severe chronic pain. Back problems
are the fifth most common reason for visits to the clinic; in 85% of such
conditions no definitive diagnosis can be made. Although chronic pain
greatly diminishes quality of life, and increases anxiety and depression,
it is assumed that the cerebral cortex passively reflects spinal changes,
and reverts to its normal state after cessation of chronic pain.
Our studies show that chronic back pain (CBP, sustained for > 6
months after the healing process) is accompanied with abnormal brain
chemistry, mainly a reduction in N-acetyl-aspartate/creatine ratio in the
prefrontal cortex implying neuronal loss or dysfunction in this region,
and reduced cognitive abilities on a task that implies abnormal

  

Source: Apkarian, A. Vania - Department of Physiology, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine