Pedro Montoya: “Chronic pain not only hurts, it also damages the brain”


The researcher Peter Montoya and his team at the University of the Balearic Islands are investigating how brain function changes in patients with chronic pain compared with brain activity in healthy subjects. He explained his latest results on 20 January in the series of seminars IDIBELL.

“We do not know how the fire occurs; we want to know what is what keeps the fire burning.” With this analogy the researcher Pedro Montoya explains which his interest in chronic pain research is. “We know there are genetic, hormonal, biological, psychological, and even social factors that make the pain remains,” said Montoya “what we’re seeing now is that these factors function differently in patients with chronic pain than in healthy people”.

According to Peter Montoya, persistent chronic pain threatens the functioning of the brain, causes it to function abnormally and even can produce morphological alterations in some brain regions: “Chronic pain not only hurts, it also damages the brain, and this is important because even if somebody finds a cure for chronic pain, they also have to recover brain damage”.

His lab is also working on potential therapeutic applications: “We study potential therapies designed to change brain activity in patients with chronic pain. Using pharmacology or neurofeedback techniques, already used in other diseases such as epilepsy or ALS”.

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