You are here: Home » News-IANS » Health-Medicine
Business Standard

Chronic pain linked to depression: Study

IANS  |  New York 

Chronic pain can also lead to anxiety and depression as brain inflammation caused by long-term nerve pain alters activity in areas that regulate mood and motivation, says new research.

This finding published online in the Journal of Neuroscience could lead to new approaches for treating chronic pain.

"For over 20 years, scientists have been trying to unlock the mechanisms at work that connect opioid use, pain relief, depression and addiction," said one of the researchers Catherine Cahill, associate professor of anesthesiology & perioperative care at University of California, Irvine in the US.

"Our findings represent a paradigm shift which has broad implications that are not restricted to the problem of pain and may translate to other disorders," Cahill said.

In work with rodents, the researchers discovered that pain-derived brain inflammation causes the accelerated growth and activation of immune cells called microglia.

These cells trigger chemical signals within neurons that restrict the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. The study also reveals why opioid drugs such as morphine can be ineffective against chronic pain.

Morphine and its derivatives normally stimulate the release of dopamine. But in research on mice and rats in chronic pain, Cahill and her colleagues learned that these drugs failed to stimulate a dopamine response, resulting in impaired reward-motivated behaviour.

"Treating these animals in chronic pain with a drug that inhibits microglial activation restored dopamine release and reward-motivated behaviour," Cahill added.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, June 10 2015. 13:48 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU