What changes occur in neuronal pathways in chronic pain?

Chronic pain is a complex condition that involves long-lasting pain signals being continuously transmitted within the neuronal pathways of the nervous system. Over time, these persistent pain signals lead to dramatic changes in the structure and function of these pathways. One significant change is the phenomenon called central sensitization, where the neurons in the pain pathways become hyperexcitable, amplifying pain signals and making them more intense. Additionally, synaptic connections between neurons may strengthen, leading to enhanced transmission of pain signals. This rewiring of the neural circuitry can result in increased pain sensitivity, prolonged pain perception, and even the development of pain in response to non-painful stimuli. Moreover, repeated firing of pain signals can cause structural changes in the brain, affecting areas involved in pain processing and emotional regulation. Overall, the neuronal pathways in chronic pain undergo substantial alterations that contribute to the persistence and intensification of pain symptoms.
This mind map was published on 2 December 2023 and has been viewed 55 times.

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