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Functional imaging of pain: new insights regarding the role of the cerebral cortex in human pain perception
 

Summary: Functional imaging of pain: new insights regarding the role
of the cerebral cortex in human pain perception
A. Vania Apkarian
There has been a large increase in the use of brain imaging
technologies to study pain. Most likely this trend will
accelerate even more in the near future. Comparing among
the studies that have examined the brain physiology of
human pain perception the general impression is confusing.
It seems that depending on the laboratory, the specifics of the
technology used and the details of stimulus delivery, different
results are obtained regarding the brain sites and their type of
involvement (increased or decreased activity) in pain
perception. This review is an attempt to allay some of this
confusion by proposing a set of hypotheses that can explain
most of the differences more coherently. The main conclusion
of this review is rather surprising, because the arguments lead
to the notion that the spinothalamic pathway may not be the
major system involved in clinically relevant pain states.
Key words: acute, chronic, clinical pain / PET / SPECT /
fMRI / cortex

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine