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The mystical leap between the brain and chronic pain conditions remains speculative, according to this November 17, 2004, article in the Journal of Neuroscience.

A study of 26 chronic back pain patients (CBP), and an equal number of control subjects, showed a 5-11% loss of neocortical gray matter volume than the control group.

A 5-11% gray matter loss is what can be expected in 10-20 years of normal aging.