Chronic Pain Can Change Your Brain

Research from Australia by Associate professor Sylvia Gustin has found chronic pain can lead to feeling tired, being unmotivated, pessimism, fatigue, and sensitivity to criticism and constantly worrying on a daily basis.

The change in mood was to be caused by depletion of glutamate, a key chemical messenger between brain cells that helps regulate emotion and they found that the greater the decrease in glutamate the worse the symptoms are.

"It means their brain cells can no longer communicate properly and therefore their ability to process positive emotion is jeopardised, we know that almost half of people with chronic pain suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety and these findings may well be an explanation," Assoc Professor Gustin said.

"The research could help change the way we understand and respond to chronic pain."