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Brain Atrophy with Chronic Pain: A Call for Enhanced Treatment

Recent studies clearly show that chronic pain unto itself causes brain atrophy and altered neurochemistry and sensory function of the central nervous system.
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Conclusion

Chronic pain, particularly the severe intractable forms, should be considered a disease unto itself. The finding that chronic pain, per se, causes brain atrophy and altered physiology and neurochemistry is a profound discovery and joins the already known risks of under-treatment, namely cardiovascular, hormone, immune, and physiologic function. At this time, there is no guarantee that we can prevent or restore brain atrophy with any known treatment or measures yet aggressive pain control clearly outweighs the risk of undertreatment. Now that we are aware that this complication may occur, it is time to experiment, observe, and develop strategies to prevent or ameliorate it.

Last updated on: December 18, 2012
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