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Strides in understanding how the brain processes chronic pain

Posted by: The Conversation

Date: Thursday, 25 May 2023

As common as chronic pain is, how the brain processes pain remains something of a mystery. Neurobiologist Prasad Shirvalkar devised a way to objectively measure chronic pain by surgically implanting electrodes in the brains of four patients with post-stroke pain and phantom limb pain. His team’s findings offer the “first direct evidence that chronic pain involves information-processing areas of the brain distinct from those involved in acute pain,” he writes in a crisp summary of a study published this week. The work could lead to better diagnosis of chronic pain conditions and potential treatments, such as deep brain stimulation.

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Martin LaMonica

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Chronic pain can be objectively measured using brain signals – new research

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Pain has long been subjectively measured, leading to frustrations for patients and doctors alike. Identifying neural biomarkers of pain could improve diagnosis and lead to better treatments of chronic pain conditions.

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