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Tracey I: Exacerbation of pain by anxiety is associated with activity in a hippocampus network

By Er Ploghaus, Charvy Narain, Christian F. Beckmann, Stuart Clare, Susanna Bantick, Richard Wise, Paul M. Matthews, J. Nicholas P. Rawlins and Irene Tracey

Abstract

It is common clinical experience that anxiety about pain can exacerbate the pain sensation. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), we compared activation responses to noxious thermal stimulation while perceived pain intensity was manipulated by changes in either physical intensity or induced anxiety. One visual signal, which reliably predicted noxious stimulation of moderate intensity, came to evoke low anxiety about the impending pain. Another visual signal was followed by the same, moderate-intensity stimulation on most of the trials, but occasionally by discriminably stronger noxious stimuli, and came to evoke higher anxiety. We found that the entorhinal cortex of the hippocampal formation responded differentially to identical noxious stimuli, dependent on whether the perceived pain intensity was enhanced by pain-relevant anxiety. During this emotional pain modulation

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.328.7894
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