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Can a human being remember pain ?

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Oct 25 09:50:24 EST 1998


We all share your dismay and resentment; this newsgroup has become an
outlet for some bizarre and embarassing, undisciplined and
self-indulgent or perhaps pathological thinking.

Some lines of research to look into:

"Phantom limb" studies.

"Chronic pain" or "central pain" studies.

I have paid someowhat more attention to the second line.  There are
some complex sequences of events, involving substance P, IL-1, NO,
glutamate, and NMDA, by which peripheral stimuli can induce central
changes (peripheral, i.e. nerves outside spinal cord; central, in the
spinal cord or higher) which are long-lasting or perhaps permanent.

The glutamate/NMDA aspect is very similar to what in the brain is a
route to LTP, a popular "model" of memory formation.

In one paradigm, a local irritation by formalin can produce changes
such that there is a general (i.e. not local or regional) allodynia or
abnormal sensitivity to painful stimuli.

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group

In <70uv9s$7fj$7 at news2.xs4all.nl> "DK" <cooper17.spamless at xs4all.nl>
>>> >Pain receptors may retain some sensitivity after a prolonged bout
>>> >(LTP?). This form of sensory memory probably finds its origin at
>>> sensory
>>> >receptor sites, possibly the brainstem, probably not higher. It
>>> sense,
>>> >an area once injured should be 'watched' more carefully by the
>>> although
>>> >there do seem to be circumstances where the mechanism goes
>>> Is this why some people who have suffered terrible burns can
continue to
>>> feel as though the burns are fresh or even occurring for years
after any
>>> clinical reason for pain has healed?
>>> --Katrina
>>Katrina, If you are (or anyone else is), wondering why I so persist
>what's so
>>seemingly-negative... (massive snippage of re-iteration of personal
>What? What? What? Where do I say anything to you? Where do I say
>*about* you? I asked a
>perfectly straightforward medical question of the group at large, and
>certainly resent being ranted at by someone assuming all sorts of
weird shit
>aimed at himself. If anyone else feels like actually answering my
>that would be appreciated.

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