March is Brain Injury Awareness month. It highlights the previously unrecognized vast spectrum of long term consequences of brain trauma including concussions and mild traumatic injuries. But even this spotlight has overlooked brain damage from chronic pain.
In 2011, Michael Flomenhaft delivered a paper to the 2011 Second Circuit Judicial Conference, The Legal Brain-scape: Neuroscience & the Law, “The Emerging Imaging Science of Chronic Pain: Objectifying the Subjective.” This paper discusses the harmful brain changes that chronic pain inflicts. That understanding is now receiving a major focus by the recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), confirming the correlation between chronic pain and elevated risk of dementia and cognitive decline.