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Brain Awareness Week is a global initiative that aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the brain and brain research. It is a collaborative effort between scientists, educators, and organizations to host events and activities that engage the public in learning about the brain and its importance to our lives. The week-long campaign includes a wide range of events such as lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and other interactive activities. These events are designed to promote brain health, improve public understanding of neuroscience, and inspire the next generation of brain scientists. Brain Awareness Week is an important opportunity for the public to learn more about the brain and its vital role in our lives.

The brain and pain have a complex and intertwined relationship. Pain is an essential aspect of human survival, alerting us to potential harm and encouraging us to take action to protect ourselves. The brain plays a crucial role in pain perception,  interpreting and processing various information about potential threat, the context, our prior experiences, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. Pain is considered an emergent property of the person, with the brain playing a large role.

The limbic system, a collection of structures in the brain associated with emotions and motivation, is also involved in pain perception. Pain can cause emotional responses such as fear, anxiety, and depression, all of which are controlled by the limbic system. Moreover, the brain’s prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in pain modulation, determining how much attention is given to pain signals and the degree to which they are felt. The prefrontal cortex can also activate pain-suppressing pathways to reduce the sensation of pain, such as through the release of endorphins. Finally, the brain’s plasticity, or ability to change and adapt, can play a role in pain management. In cases of chronic pain, the brain may reorganize itself in response to the persistent pain signals, leading to long-term changes in pain perception.

In conclusion, the relationship between the brain and pain is complex and multi-faceted, involving numerous regions and structures of the brain. Understanding this relationship is essential for effective pain management and treatment.

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Please find related articles from the European Journal of Pain below:

Adaptive coding of pain prediction error in the anterior insula

Reconceptualizing pain-related behaviour: Introducing the concept of bodily doubt

Investigation of pain sensitivity following 3 nights of disrupted sleep in healthy individuals

Pain and Parkinson’s disease: Current mechanism and management updates

Pain modulates early sensory brain responses to task-irrelevant emotional faces

Is central sensitization relevant in acute low back pain?

Human assumed central sensitization in people with acute non-specific low back pain: A cross-sectional study of the association with brain-derived neurotrophic factor, clinical, psychological and demographic factors

Indicators of central sensitization in chronic neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury

Chronic postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty: The potential contributions of synovitis, pain sensitization and pain catastrophizing—An explorative study

Pain relief by movement representation strategies: An umbrella and mapping review with meta-meta-analysis of motor imagery, action observation and mirror therapy

Auditory change-related cortical response is associated with hypervigilance to pain in healthy volunteers

Disruption to normal excitatory and inhibitory function within the medial prefrontal cortex in people with chronic pain

3D magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging reveals links between brain metabolites and multidimensional pain features in fibromyalgia

The serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) rs6313 variant is associated with higher ongoing pain and signs of central sensitization in neuropathic pain patients