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May 19, 2020

Scientists find brain center that ‘profoundly’ shuts down pain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A Duke University research team has found a small area of the brain in mice that can profoundly control the animals’ sense of pain.

Somewhat unexpectedly, this center turns off, not on. It’s also located in an area where few people would have thought to look for an anti-pain center, the amygdala, which is often considered the home of negative emotions and responses, like the fight or flight response and general anxiety.

“People do believe there is a central place to relieve pain, that’s why placebos work,” said senior author Fan Wang, the Morris N. Broad Distinguished Professor of neurobiology in the School of Medicine. “The question is where in the brain is the center that can turn off pain.”

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