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Chronic pain seen altering how brainworks
Tue Feb 5, 2008 10:50pm GMT
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Brain scans of people in chronic pain show a state of
constant activity in areas that should be at rest, U.S. researchers said on
Tuesday, a finding that could help explain why pain patients have higher
rates of depression, anxiety and other disorders.
They said chronic pain seems to alter the way people process information
that is unrelated to pain.
"It seems that enduring pain for a long time affects brain function in response
to even minimally demanding attention tasks completely unrelated to pain,"
the researchers wrote in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Dante Chialvo, a researcher at Northwestern University in Chicago who
worked on the study, said: "People with chronic pain -- meaning pain that
lasts more than six months after their injury -- have many other issues that
affect their quality of life as much as pain. It is not known where they come
Recent studies have shown that in healthy people, certain regions of the