Neuroscience

Multiple brain regions moderate and link depressive mood and pain

Depression is linked to diminished activity in parts of the brain believed to regulate mood, which previous research suggests may explain why depressed persons display an lessened ability to govern their ruminative thought ...

Medications

US dentists out-prescribe UK dentists when it comes to opioids

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that dentists practicing in the U.S. write 37 times more opioid prescriptions than dentists practicing in England. And, the type of opioids they prescribe ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Scientists report new endometriosis findings

Endometriosis is a disease that affects 10 to 15 percent of all reproductive-aged women. Although no cure has been found, researchers seek to determine why some women develop endometriosis and in order to develop effective ...

Genetics

The man who is aging too fast

Nobuaki Nagashima was in his mid-20s when he began to feel like his body was breaking down. He was based in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan, where for 12 years he had been a member of the military, vigorously ...

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Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone." The International Association for the Study of Pain has a definition that is widely used: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".

Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Psychological factors such as social support, hypnotic suggestion, excitement, or distraction can significantly modulate pain's intensity or unpleasantness.

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