http://hansmalab.physics.ucsb.edu/ Here are links you can follow to learn more about the breakthroughs from Neuroscience and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, fMRI, research that are giving us, for the first time, a fundamental scientific understanding of chronic pain. The next two videos in this series will present solutions to the problem of chronic pain illuminated by this fundamental scientific understanding.
Professor Jack Gallant has an amazing YouTube video of fMRI, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, on normal brains doing normal activities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsH7RK1S2E&t=1s
Professor Tor Wager’s group made a major breakthrough in showing, with fMRI, that the brain problem of chronic pain involves a Stimulus Intensity Independent Pain Signature: that is, pain that has a life of its own in the brain, independent from signals (stimulus) from the body.
Neuroscience researchers in Europe and Japan have grown human neurons in small dishes that contain Multi Electrode Arrays (MEAs). Their work reveals that human neurons will fire spontaneously and excite each other into activity without any external signals!
Professors Vania Apkarian and Marwan Baliki’s group’s breakthrough was showing, with fMRI, how pain transitions from acute pain, a body problem, to chronification, a brain problem. Please note that Apkarian and Baliki use the term “chronification” for what I am calling “sensitization”.
Professors Lorimer Moseley and David Butler have a great cafe chat video about their new book, Explain Pain Handbook: Protectometer and Explain Pain Second Edition. David Butler has a wonderful talk about Danger in Me and Safety in Me. Their work was the motivation for showing the chronic pain activity in the brain as a rotating beacon – a symbol of protection from danger.
More research is needed before the shifting patterns of brain activity during a pain flare up that are simulated in this video can be known in detail. An exciting start is the discovery by Baliki, Baria and Apkarian of rhythms of cortical activity with a period of 5 to 8 seconds, which correlate with the pain rhythms felt by patients.
There are more resources here at http://hansmalab.physics.ucsb.edu/index.php/summary-references-and-acknowledgements/