[Neuroscience] Re: Another Hypothetical Question About A-Delta Fibers and Autnomic Responses to Pain

Peter F fell_spamtrap_in at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jan 31 23:05:30 EST 2006


"Radium" <glucegen1 at excite.com> wrote in message
news:1138503716.717826.86500 at g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Scarring and A-delta nerve endings don't have much in connection. I
> totally agree. I just put that down because in many cases, things that
> are seemingly remote from each other can [and many times do] have an
> INDIRECT connection. For example, burn victims often experience peptic
> ulcers because of the response of the sympathetic nervous system to
the
> burn injury.
>
> At some level, everything are connected to each other.
>

You, Radium, might not be as stupid as you look! :-)

I am joining "the conventional boys' choir" in saying that the
affective/subjective
suffering dimension of distress does not kill on its own.

The thought experiment:

One can imagine an individual being in its greatest (most intense
possible) pain that does not cease, whilst no metabolic and nutritional
shortfalls or tissue damages exist in the same individual; and all
neuroelectric and chemical pathways that would normally result in other
dimensions of a distress syndrome is to be perfectly blocked.

However, by not ceasing, this painful content of consciousness will by
nature of its attention focusing (totally absorbing) and behavior
paralysing effect (aside from not affetcting the activity of muscles
that maintain basic metabolism supporting autonomus muscle work being
carried out, and possibly also aside from pain-communicating
vocalization - that in this conjured up experimental case does not
result in any forthcoming help) eventually cause death from thirst.

However, as you yourself realize, in reality no separation of functions
can
occur to this (thought experimental) extent.

In reality neuro-hormonal effects will come into play.

The only hormone that I know - from what I have picked up about what is
so far scientifically known (though of course still not as surely and
thoroughly known as it might become understood in the future) -  is that
cortisol is capable
contributing to death by stress (or by distress to be precise).

I am sure there are other neurohormonal mechanism that can kill us too.

To die from a broken heart is possible - at least for some people.

Another plausibility is that it might be possible to die from "being in
pain"
is by shutting down too massively against
overwhelming (and of course physically inescapable) pain.

Such a "shutting-down to death" (implicitly preceeded by a 'closing' of
consciousness)
would of course involve secretion and 'receptor reception' of potent
inhibitory
neuromodulators.
One big family of such inhibitors that are likely to be involve are the
opioids.

But, who knows there might be others which when added to the cocktail of
self-inhibitory
molecules might contribute to a deeply distressed individual giving
itself, endogenously, a
"chemical coup de grace".

P





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