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Med Hypotheses. 2014 Mar;82(3):286-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.12.011. Epub 2013 Dec 21.

Chronic pain resolution after a lucid dream: a case for neural plasticity?

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA. Electronic address: maurozappaterra@gmail.com.
2
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.

Abstract

Chronic pain is often managed using a multidisciplinary, biopsychosocial approach. Interventions targeting the biological, psychological, and social aspects of both the patient and the pain have been demonstrated to provide objective and subjective improvement in chronic pain symptoms. The mechanism by which pain attenuation occurs after these interventions remains to be elucidated. While there is a relatively large body of empirical literature suggesting that functional and structural changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems are key in the development and maintenance of chronic pain states, less is known about changes that take place in the nervous system as a whole after biopsychosocial interventions. Using as a model the unique case of Mr. S, a patient suffering with chronic pain for 22 years who experienced a complete resolution of pain after a lucid dream following 2 years of biopsychosocial treatments, we postulate that central nervous system (CNS) reorganization (i.e., neural plasticity) serves as a possible mechanism for the therapeutic benefit of multidisciplinary treatments, and may set a neural framework for healing, in this case via a lucid dream.

PMID:
24398162
DOI:
10.1016/j.mehy.2013.12.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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