In the 19th June edition of the Daily Mail, Dr Paul Strutton was asked to make comment on the decline of grey matter in people with chronic pain, in an article titled: Having a new hip can boost your brain power: Relieving chronic pain improves your mind as well as your body.
Dr Paul Strutton, senior lecturer in neurophysiology at Imperial College London, adds: ‘There is now good evidence to show grey matter declines in people with chronic pain.
‘We think the plasticity that occurs in the brain is as a result of the pain and not a cause of it.
‘The big question is whether this loss of nerve cells in the grey matter can be reduced or even reversed by treating the pain.’
Research into the area continues: a clinical trial is starting this month at North Western University in which 60 men and women with knee osteoarthritis will be given either a drug called duloxetine, widely used to treat pain, or a sugar pill.