Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

Women Respond More Intensely to Pain- Study Shows Using MRI Brain Scans

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Brain Scans Show Pain Intensity

Professor Qasim Aziz, of the Wingate Institute for Neurogastroenterology, Queen Mary University of London, led a research team in studying the brain activity and reactions of both men and women in the
anticipation and processing of pain.

The participants of the study were subjected to a medical test involving a tiny balloon that would be expanded in their gullet.

Prior to the test, the analysis demonstrated that the women had less activity in regions of their brain associated with fear processing, and more activity in areas involved in preparing and planning to cope with the impending pain. Their scans also showed greater activity, during the procedure, in areas linked with processing emotions and feeling pain.

The scans of the men showed fear was predominant when they were expecting to feel pain. During the actual painful procedure the men’s scans showed more activity in areas related to pain avoidance.

The study found women process pain in the brain differently to men. The study was meant to investigate how the sexes respond to the pain of chronic conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which affects more women than men.

The study’s findings show that women seem to have a more intense response to pain. This study may shed light on the complex subject of pain and how the brain processes pain. It is important to understand the differences so that each sex can be treated much more effectively.

Findings from the scans were released at the British Society of Gastroenterology‘s annual meeting in Birmingham, England.

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Source: The Daily Mail

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