A new study confirms a link between the severity of symptoms for those with chronic pain and atmospheric weather conditions. Low atmospheric pressure was associated with more severe symptoms of pain.
Inhibitory inputs to the neural circuit between the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dlBNST) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) increase when a person is in chronic pain. This alteration is mediated by enhanced corticotropin-releasing factor signaling within the dlBNST, leading to suppression of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. The result is depressive mood and anhedonia associated with chronic pain.
Blocking the activity of interleukin-1 in mouse models of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) helped reverse symptoms. Researchers say patients with CRPS should respond to immune-based treatments which reduce some of the disease features.
Opioids are often prescribed to help those with chronic pain manage sleep problems associated with their condition. New research reports opioids effect on sleep quality is limited and of poor quality. Additionally, opioids can increase the risk of sleep apnea.
A new biomarker for fibromyalgia has been identified in blood samples taken from patients suffering from the condition.