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University of Toronto’s Dr. Min Zhuo, reports in the July 18th, Journal of Neuroscience, that there appears to be a connection between chronic pain and a patient’s ability to concentrate. Zhuo injected a hind-paw of a mouse to study the spinal column activity to the area of the brain known to be involved in chronic pain.

The forebrain (aka: anterior cingulate cortex [ACC]) is known for its roles in learning and memory. Recent studies have demonstrated that painful stimuli activate the forebrain, which means that learning and memory are disrupted. The central nervous system (CNS) is responsible for carrying the signals from the area injured to the forebrain. When an injury occurs, the CNS undergoes a rapid change, surprisingly, more changes continue to take place over a long-term period following the injury.