AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Does Widespread Pain Stem From the Brain? MRI Study Investigates

Pain is the most common reason people seek medical care, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Sometimes we can easily pinpoint what is causing a person pain,” says Richard Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and rheumatology at Michigan Medicine. “But, there are still 1 in 5 Americans who suffer from persistent pain that is not easily identifiable.”

Whenever someone experiences pain, they often think about how intense the pain is — but rarely do they also consider how widespread the pain is.

“We examined data from the brains of participants in the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain Research Network study,” Harris says. “We compared participants with a clinical diagnosis of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome to pain-free controls and to fibromyalgia patients.”

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