Attentional modulation of visceral and somatic pain.

Dunckley P, Aziz Q, Wise RG, Brooks J, Tracey I, Chang L.

Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford, UK, and Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

A better understanding of the cortical processes underlying attentional modulation of visceral and somatic pain in health are essential for interpretation of future imaging studies of hypervigilance towards bodily sensations which is considered to be an aetiologically important factor in the heightened pain reported by patients with irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Twelve healthy subjects were recruited for this study. Simultaneous trains of electrical pulses (delivered to either the rectum or lower abdomen) and auditory tones lasting 6 s were delivered to the subjects during a whole-brain functional scan acquisition. Subjects were instructed to attend to the auditory tones (distracter task) or electrical pulses (pain task). Pain intensity ratings were significantly lower during the distraction task compared with the pain task (P FMS Global News

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Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
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