Chronic pain is a major cause of disability and healthcare burden worldwide. Despite this, there are currently few medications available to manage chronic pain, due to poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Studies in the current literature suggest that the brain alpha rhythm may be involved in pain perception. There is an inverse association between alpha activity and the perception of acute and chronic pain, which applies to alpha power in frontal and central brain regions specifically. As Alpha activity increases in frontal and central regions, pain perception decreases. Conversely increased attention to pain or expectation of pain suppresses alpha activity and increases pain perception. There is nascent evidence that increased alpha activity by external stimuli reduces the perception of experimental pain. Future research should investigate the potential of such novel treatments to reduce clinical pain.
|Publication status||Published - 4 Aug 2020|