Memory Loss and Pain

Are you in pain? If so, it may be affecting more than just your neck, your head, your back — wherever the pain exists. It appears that memory loss and pain are connected. That also means, it could be affecting your work and your life in general.

Memory Loss and Pain

If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, that pain may be affecting your memory.

Just last year, Dutch researchers found that people with chronic pain have memory problems. They do worse on tests for both working memory (remembering what you’ve read, following directions, taking multiple choice tests) and episodic verbal memory (remembering what people say to you and what you say to them). Now we’re learning why. Is it because pain distracts attention? Or a side effect of pain meds? Both may play a role, but new studies point to a more profound effect: Pain changes your brain.

Memory Loss and Pain — What to Do

“The best advice is to control your pain as much as you can with whatever methods work best for you,” says Dr. Apkarian [Northwestern University]. “Multiple labs are now showing that the brain reorganization that we see over and over again is at least partially reversible when the pain is diminished or eliminated.”
You can access the article here or the scientific abstract here.


Hmmm — so it appears that there is a connection between memory loss and pain — and that if you’re a sufferer of chronic pain (e.g. backache, headache, fibromyalgia), you may have more than one reason to find ways to alleviate it.

Have you noticed any effects of pain on memory? Share your comments below.

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