Found the source of phantom pain in the field of amputated limbs


06/03/2013

Phantom pain of a chronic nature, which torment after the amputation of some people appear due to the fact that the human brain does not recognize the loss of an arm or leg, keeping the chain of neurons responding once for her work. Within these chains, there are feelings of pain, according to a paper published in Nature Communications.

"Most of the people who have lost limbs, face phantom sensations - the brain of people continue to think that the limb is still there. About 80% of the victims feel phantom pains that occur in the non-existent arm or leg. There are times when the pain becomes so severe that simply weakens a person, "- said Tamar Makin (Tamar Makin), a researcher at the University of Oxford in the UK.

The source of the pain Makin and her colleagues found by comparing maps of brain activity in people without hands, some of whom suffered from severe phantom pain. The scientists collected for this purpose a team of 18 volunteers who were asked to describe the power, and the nature and duration of the pain. The researchers then tracked the participants in the working of the brain computed tomography.

The researchers paid particular attention to the experiment on the functioning of the special areas in the motor cortex of the brain associated with the movement of a lost hand. Neuroscientists were extremely surprised to find that this fragment of the brain in people with the strongest phantom pains worked as well as the motor cortex in people with intact upper limbs.

According to experts, this indicates that the motor center in the brain of volunteers is still believed that the arm was amputated on the spot, and even tried to control it. However, other parts of the brain with that were not "agree", so the connection between them and the motor cortex were severely weakened. These violations are likely and cause severe phantom pain that the author has yet to prove. Biologists believe, however, that psychological techniques or drugs that destroy this "phantom", can relieve people from pain.


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