Abnormal Amygdala Connections With Chronic Pain

The Amygdala is known as the emotional center of the brain. It has been implicated in anxiety and depression and now studies are clearly showing it is implicated with chronic pain. This study showed exactly that, and it also highlighted that pain catastrophizing had the greatest impact on the abnormal amygdala to central executive network (CEN) connection.

Basically we need to strengthen the CEN to send messages to the amydala to say that ‘we are ok’ instead of sending negative messages (catastrophizing) that just amplify the abnormal connection and contribute to chronic pain.

‘In this study, we examined resting-state connectivity of the amygdala and its subregions in patients with chronic pain. Patients, compared with healthy controls, showed exaggerated amygdalar connectivity with the CEN.’

‘We found that patients with chronic pain had exaggerated and abnormal amygdala connectivity with central executive network, which was most exaggerated in patients with the greatest pain catastrophizing.’