Is that pain in your chest a heart attack or indigestion? You can't treat it if you don't know where it is. New research reveals that more areas of the brain than previously thought are involved in determining the location of pain.
Neuroscientist Robert Coghill has found that patients cannot always distinguish pain from indigestion and pain from a heart attack. Pain from a nerve injury is often felt at sites other than at the injury. And, in some cases, an injury on one side of the body results in pain on both sides. He says, "The scientific understanding of spatial aspects of pain is so limited that patients with widespread pain may get sent to a psychiatrist rather than a pain clinic?Our notion of where in the brain the 'where' component of pain is processed?[is] not as simple as we thought."
The symptoms of some diseases, such as colon cancer, can be especially baffling, and the only solution is to get frequent check ups.
Here's what is painful for us: readers and listeners who profess to love us but don't take action to make sure WE stay healthy, so we can be here tomorrow.
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