Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stress and Pain

"A new study investigating the relationship between stress and the painful symptoms of the disease is currently underway. It offers, for the first time, evidence of the negative consequences of stress in the progression of endometriosis, most likely through an effect on the immune system....the endo-control rats had higher colonic damage scores than sham-stressed animals, which was increased further by stress. The endo-stress rats had the shortest colon length, the highest levels of MPO, the greatest number of colonic mast cells, and an increase in peritoneal fluid immune cell infiltration, all indicative of  activation of inflammatory mechanisms.
Conclusion
According to the senior researcher for the study, Dr. Appleyard, “These findings contribute to our understanding of how stress may affect the severity of endometriosis. We think there is likely a connection with the immune system because of the observed levels of mast cells in the colon and the increased levels of inflammatory cells in the peritoneum of the affected rats, since this has also been observed in patients with endometriosis.”  Appleyard continued, “The results offer a jumping off point to help identify stress-management interventions that will help those women who are affected by the disease.”" http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407114627.htm

"A research team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body's ability to regulate inflammation can lead to the development and progression of disease.

Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at the university's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone.

Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol's regulatory effect and in turn runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.

He said: "Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control." "When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.

"Knowing this is important for identifying which diseases may be influenced by stress and for preventing disease in chronically stressed people."  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/.../pain-stress-link...

"'Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, is sometimes called the 'stress hormone' as it is activated in reaction to stress. Our study shows that a small hippocampal volume is associated with higher cortisol levels, which lead to increased vulnerability to pain and could increase the risk of developing pain chronicity," explained √Čtienne Vachon-Presseau.

As Dr. Pierre Rainville described, "Our research sheds more light on the neurobiological mechanisms of this important relationship between stress and pain. Whether the result of an accident, illness or surgery, pain is often associated with high levels of stress Our findings are useful in that they open up avenues for people who suffer from pain to find treatments that may decrease its impact and perhaps even prevent chronicity. To complement their medical treatment, pain sufferers can also work on their stress management and fear of pain by getting help from a psychologist and trying relaxation or meditation techniques.'" http://www.sciencedaily.com/rele.../2013/02/130225092038.htm