Chronic pain affects memory, says a comprehensive literature review

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Chronic pain affects memory, says a comprehensive literature review

Chronic pain (CP) is a complicated health condition that causes severe physical and emotional stress among patients. It affects about 30 to 50% global population. Many patients suffered from chronic pain present with weak memory. Various studies testify this fact and found evidence of LTM (long-term memory) and WM (working memory) dysfunctions among patients with chronic pain.

Stéphanie Mazza and colleagues conducted a comprehensive literature review of chronic pain patients who suffered from cognitive impairment. The review covered 24 observational studies which involved LTM or WM evaluation among a chronic pain group and a control group.

An average LTM and WM impairment was seen among CP patients during results. The observational studies did not allow to assume a long-term storage impairment even in case of patients complaint amnesia. According to the results, the CP majorly affects those memory processes which need the greatest attention, such as a remembrance in long-term memory or working memory. The control group showed less notably encoding or retrieving difficulties as compared to CP group. The CP patients also expressed a memory bias which addressed towards painful incidences as compared to control group patients. According to various authors, CP could be the maladaptive outcomes of the memory process. The long-standing pain uninterrupted increases unpleasant emotional associations with related events. The chronic pain persistence can be seen by incapability to terminate the painful memory signs, even if the original trauma has vanished. Further analysis is required to withdraw pain-related cognitive outcomes evolving from all co-morbidities related to CP which both reflect a damaging effect on cognitive function.


Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

A comprehensive literature review of chronic pain and memory


StéphanieMazza; et al.

Chronic pain(CP), Memory, Chronic, A comprehensive literature review, Review
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