How Chronic Pain Leads to Anxiety and Depression

Neuronal plas­tic­i­ty in chron­ic pain-induced anx­i­ety revealed

Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty researchers have shown how chron­ic pain leads to mal­adap­tive anx­i­ety in mice, with impli­ca­tions for treat­ment of chron­ic pain-relat­ed psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders in humans.

Chron­ic pain is per­sis­tent and inescapable, and can lead to mal­adap­tive emo­tion­al states. It is often comor­bid with psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, such as depres­sion and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders. It is thought that chron­ic pain caus­es changes in neur­al cir­cuits, and gives rise to depres­sion and anxiety.

Researchers at Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty have iden­ti­fied the neu­ronal cir­cuit involved in chron­ic pain-induced anx­i­ety in mice. Their research, which was recent­ly pub­lished in Sci­ence Advances, could lead to the devel­op­ment of new treat­ments for chron­ic pain and psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders such as anx­i­ety dis­or­ders and major depres­sive disorder.

“Clin­i­cians have known for a long time that chron­ic pain often leads to anx­i­ety and depres­sion, how­ev­er the brain mech­a­nism for this was unclear,” said Pro­fes­sor Masabu­mi Mina­mi of the Fac­ul­ty of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sci­ences at Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty, the cor­re­spond­ing author of the paper.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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