Pain: Is It All in the Brain or the Heart?

AbstractPurpose of ReviewScientists have reported that pain is always created by the brain. This may not be entirely true. Pain is not only a sensory experience, but also can be associated with emotional, cognitive, and social components. The heart is considered the source of emotions, desire, and wisdom. Therefore, the aim of this article was to review the available evidence about the role of the heart in pain modulation.Recent FindingsDr. Armour, in 1991, discovered that the heart has its “little brain” or “intrinsic cardiac nervous system.” This “heart brain” is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons that are alike neurons in the brain, meaning that the heart has its own nervous system. In addition, the heart communicates with the brain in many methods: neurologically, biochemically, biophysically, and energetically. The vagus nerve, which is 80% afferent, carries information from the heart and other internal organs to the brain. Signals from the “heart brain” redirect to the medulla, hypothalamus, thalamus, and amygdala and the cerebral cortex. Thus, the hea rt sends more signals to the brain than vice versa. Research has demonstrated that pain perception is modulated by neural pathways and methods targeting the heart such as vagus nerve stimulation and heart-rhythm coherence feedback techniques.SummaryThe heart is not just a pump. It has its neural network or “little brain.” The methods targeting the heart mod...
Source: Current Pain and Headache Reports - Category: Neurology Source Type: research

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ConclusionOur results suggest that taVNS at 1 Hz can significantly modulate activity/connectivity of brain regions associated with the vagus nerve central pathway and pain modulation system, which may shed light on the neural mechanisms underlying taVNS treatment of migraine.
Source: NeuroImage: Clinical - Category: Radiology Source Type: research
Purpose of review Cluster headache stands among the worst debilitating pain conditions. Available treatments for cluster headache have often disabling side effects, are not tolerated, or are ineffective. The management of drug-refractory chronic forms is challenging. New treatments are warranted and reported here. Recent findings In cluster headache acute treatment, delivery systems like Demand Valve Oxygen or nonrebreather-type masks could enhance the effectiveness of inhaled oxygen therapy. Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation relieves cluster headache pain at short-term in episodic patients. Sphenopalatine ganglion ...
Source: Current Opinion in Neurology - Category: Neurology Tags: HEADACHE: Edited by Messoud Ashina and Henrik Winther Schytz Source Type: research
This study aims to investigate the neural pathways associated with taVNS in patients with migraine.
Source: BRAIN STIMULATION: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation - Category: Neurology Authors: Source Type: research
Pain control is one of the biggest challenges facing America today, believes Dr. Peter Staats, co-founder and chief medical officer of electroCore. Chronic pain is an ongoing, debilitating problem for many patients, but for some, overuse of opioid treatments has led to addiction. Such a condition has led to an increasing number of U.S. deaths—one study published in the JAMA Network Open1 found that the percentage of all U.S. deaths attributable to opioids increased 292% between 2001 and 2016. This same study reported that in 2016, 20% of deaths of adults aged 24 to 35 years involve...
Source: MDDI - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Business Source Type: news
Following publication of the original article [1], the authors notified us that a part of the Figure 3 legend was omitted during proofing stage.
Source: The Journal of Headache and Pain - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
ElectroCore said yesterday it won a five-year Federal Supply Schedule Medical Equipment and Supply Contract with the U.S. Federal Government. Through the newly awarded contract, the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company will supply its GammaCore non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy to the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, the Dept. of Defense, the Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Services and Public Health Services. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company’s GammaCore device is a non-invasive, hand-held vagus nerve stimulation device designed for the reduction of pain. The system is intended to be applied to th...
Source: Mass Device - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Business/Financial News Neurological electroCore Source Type: news
Following publication of the original article [1], the authors notified us o that the Table  1 citation within the legend was not presented as initially requested.
Source: The Journal of Headache and Pain - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
ElectroCore said today that it won expanded FDA 510(k) clearance for its GammaCore non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy, now cleared for adjunctive use for the preventive treatment of cluster headaches in adult patients. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company’s GammaCore device is a non-invasive, hand-held vagus nerve stimulation device designed for the reduction of pain. The system is intended to be applied to the neck and applies a patented electrical stimulation through the skin to activate the vagus nerve. The expanded approval was supported by results from two studies which demonstrated the safety an...
Source: Mass Device - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: 510(k) Featured Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Neurological Regulatory/Compliance electroCore Source Type: news
electroCore, based out of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, received the first FDA clearance for a product to prevent cluster headache. The gammaCore non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) system was previously cleared for treating pain that ...
Source: Medgadget - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Medicine Neurology Source Type: blogs
AbstractBackgroundEvidence supports the use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS; gammaCore ®) as a promising therapeutic option for patients with cluster headache (CH). We conducted this audit of real-world data from patients with CH, the majority of whom were treatment refractory, to explore early UK clinical experience with nVNS used acutely, preventively, or both.MethodsWe retrospectively analysed data from 30 patients with CH (29 chronic, 1 episodic) who submitted individual funding requests for nVNS to the National Health Service. All patients had responded to adjunctive nVNS therapy during an evaluation...
Source: The Journal of Headache and Pain - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
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