Scientists Use Light and Sound to Reduce Pain — Pain News Network

Scientists at The University of Manchester have shown for the first time that if the brain is ‘tuned-in’ to a particular frequency, pain can be alleviated.

Hear from Professor Anthony Jones, director of the Manchester Pain Consortium, on the new research.

Chronic pain- pain which lasts for more than six months – is a real problem for many people, with approximately 46% of the UK population estimated to suffer from it (comprising 20% of consultations in general practice). Chronic pain is often a mixture of recurrent acute pains and chronic persistent pain. Unfortunately there are very few treatments available that are completely safe.

“British researchers have found that pain can be significantly reduced if the brain if “tuned in” to a particular frequency, a discovery that could potentially lead to new visual and sound therapies to treat chronic and acute pain

This is very exciting because it provides a potentially new, simple and safe therapy that can now be trialed in patients,” said Professor Anthony Jones, director of the University of Manchester Pain Consortium.

The potential is for this to be another treatment for chronic pain.

Jones and his colleagues say nerve cells in different parts of the brain communicate with each other using different frequencies.  Nerves in the front of the brain associated with a placebo analgesic effect are tuned in at 9-12 cycles per second, and apparently use that frequency to influence how other parts of the brain process pain.

This study provides new evidence that visual and auditory entrainment in the alpha range can influence the perception of acute pain independently of arousal and negative emotional influences,” the researchers said.

Researchers say the simplicity and low cost of the technology should facilitate more clinical studies.

It is interesting that similar results were obtained with visual and auditory stimulation, which will provide some flexibility when taking this technology into patient studies,

The study, which was self-funded as part of a PhD project, is being published in the European Journal of Pain.

Continue reading at Source: Scientists Use Light and Sound to Reduce Pain — Pain News Network

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