Daily Health Headlines

British Scientists Spot Brain's Pain Center

👤by Robert Preidt 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- British researchers say they've identified the area of the brain linked to pain intensity.

The University of Oxford team used a new imaging technique to observe how different levels of pain affected the brains of 17 volunteers. Activity in only one area of the brain -- the dorsal posterior insula -- matched the participants' self-reported pain ratings.

This method could be used to help assess pain levels in people who have difficulty providing doctors with that information, such as those in a coma, small children or dementia patients, said the authors of the study published March 9 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

"We have identified the brain area likely to be responsible for the core, 'it hurts', experience of pain," researcher Irene Tracey said in a university news release.

"Pain is a complex, multidimensional experience, which causes activity in many brain regions involved with things like attention, feeling emotions such as fear, locating where the pain is, and so on. But the dorsal posterior insula seems to be specific to the actual 'hurt level' of pain itself," she explained.

"We were able to find this area by developing a new method of tracking brain activity," Tracey said. "This allowed us to look at more complex brain states that stretch over much longer periods. By tracking pain felt over many hours, we were able to filter out more momentary experiences, such as variations in attention or fear."

In the study, 17 healthy volunteers had a cream containing capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili peppers) applied to their right leg, causing a burning sensation. When that pain began to subside, a hot water bottle was applied to the same area, to rekindle the pain. After a few minutes, a cool water bottle was placed on the area to relieve the pain.

While all this was being done, the participants' brains were being scanned and they were telling the researchers about their levels of pain.

The results suggest that by changing activity in the dorsal posterior insula, it may be possible to ease pain that doesn't respond to other treatments, the researchers said.

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

Robert Preidt / HealthDay

Robert Preidt wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCE: University of Oxford, news release, March 9, 2015

View More Articles From Robert Preidt 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Chronic Pain Articles

A Benefit of Back Pain Surgery: Better Sex

A Benefit of Back Pain Surgery: Better Sex0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery for back pain can often improve patients' sex lives, researchers report. "The impetus behind our study was to initiate the process of understanding how back surgery affects patients' lives," ...

Shoulder and Neck Pain

Shoulder and Neck Pain0

Neck Pain Causes What are causes and risk factors for neck pain? Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck. Examples of ...

Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain0

Low Back Pain Treatment Epidural Steroid Injection Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. ...

Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone

Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone0

home / chronic pain center / chronic pain a-z list / oxycodone vs. hydrocodone index / oxycodone vs. hydrocodone drug monograph Medical Reviewer: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR William C. Shiel ...

cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)

cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)0

home / chronic pain center / chronic pain a-z list / cyclobenzaprine index / cyclobenzaprine (flexeril, amrix, fexmid) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. ...

View More Chronic Pain Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!