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Cortical pathophysiology of chronic pain

Summary: Cortical pathophysiology of
chronic pain
A. Vania Apkarian
Department of Physiology and Neuroscience Institute, Department of Surgery, and Department
of Anesthesia, Northwestern University Medical School, Tarry Bldg. 5-703, Chicago, IL
60611, USA
Abstract. Studies in my laboratory have been employing multiple non-invasive brain
imaging techniques to study the characteristics of patients with chronic pain. Some of
these results are brieŁy outlined in this communication. Our studies regarding brain
activity in chronic pain are summarized, emphasizing the unique role of the prefrontal
cortex in chronic, especially neuropathic pain states. I also review our work examining
brain chemistry abnormalities in chronic pain. Given these results, we have examined
chronic pain patients in a cognitive task, designed to probe brain regions that we think
are speciącally abnormal in chronic pain, these results are also summarized. An overview
of the mechanisms that may be pertinent to the observed results is included.
2004 Pathological pain: from molecular to clinical aspects. Wiley, Chichester (Novartis
Foundation Symposium 261) p 239^255
The symposium that took place in Tsukuba, Japan, was organized to examine
peripheral and central processes underlying chronic pain states. This chapter
examines central pathophysiology of such conditions from the viewpoint of the


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine