Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Persistent pain after stressful events may have a neurobiological basis

Date:
May 2, 2013
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study is the first to identify a genetic risk factor for persistent pain after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision and sexual assault. The study also contributes further evidence that persistent pain after stressful events has a specific biological basis.

A new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers is the first to identify a genetic risk factor for persistent pain after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision and sexual assault.

In addition, the study contributes further evidence that persistent pain after stressful events has a specific biological basis. A manuscript of the study was published online ahead of print by the journal Pain on April 29.

"Our study findings indicate that mechanisms influencing chronic pain development may be related to the stress response, rather than any specific injury caused by the traumatic event," said Samuel McLean, MD, MPH, senior author of the study and assistant professor of anesthesiology. "In other words, our results suggest that in some individuals something goes wrong with the body's 'fight or flight' response or the body's recovery from this response, and persistent pain results."

The study assessed the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, a physiologic system of central importance to the body's response to stressful events. The study evaluated whether the HPA axis influences musculoskeletal pain severity six weeks after motor vehicle collision (MVC) and sexual assault. Its findings revealed that variation in the gene encoding for the protein FKBP5, which plays an important role in regulating the HPA axis response to stress, was associated with a 20 percent higher risk of moderate to severe neck pain six weeks after a motor vehicle collision, as well as a greater extent of body pain. The same variant also predicted increased pain six weeks after sexual assault.

"Right now, if an someone comes to the emergency department after a car accident, we don't have any interventions to prevent chronic pain from developing," McLean said. Similarly, if a woman comes to the emergency department after sexual assault, we have medications to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, but no treatments to prevent chronic pain. This is because we understand what causes pregnancy or infection, but we have no idea what the biologic mechanisms are that cause chronic pain. Chronic pain after these events is common and can cause great suffering, and there is an urgent need to understand what causes chronic pain so that we can start to develop interventions. This study is an important first step in developing this understanding."

"In addition, because we don't understand what causes these outcomes, individuals with chronic pain after traumatic events are often viewed with suspicion, as if they are making up their symptoms for financial gain or having a psychological reaction," McLean said. "An improved understanding of the biology helps with this stigma," McLean said.

The study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of investigators from thirteen institutions. Co-lead authors on the study were Andrey Bortsov, MD, PhD, assistant research professor in the UNC Department of Anesthesiology, and Jennifer Smith, BS, a UNC medical student and former Doris Duke Fellow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrey V. Bortsov, Jennifer E. Smith, Luda Diatchenko, April C. Soward, Jacob C. Ulirsch, Catherine Rossi, Robert A. Swor, William E. Hauda, David A. Peak, Jeffrey S. Jones, Debra Holbrook, Niels K. Rathlev, Kelly A. Foley, David C. Lee, Renee Collette, Robert M. Domeier, Phyllis L. Hendry, Samuel A. McLean. Polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid receptor co-chaperone FKBP5 predict persistent musculoskeletal pain after traumatic stress exposure. PAIN, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.04.037

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Persistent pain after stressful events may have a neurobiological basis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502115523.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2013, May 2). Persistent pain after stressful events may have a neurobiological basis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502115523.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Persistent pain after stressful events may have a neurobiological basis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502115523.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins