Your brain has a pain “OFF” switch

Published May 20, 2020

I know what you’re thinking: “NOW you tell me.” It seems that, hidden in the the amygdala (which is, oddly, where you’ll find anxiety and fear) is a cluster of neurons that Duke researchers have called “CeAga neurons” (Central Amygdala Activated by general anesthesia).

When those neurons are activated, they send “no more pain” signals to the rest of the brain. Presto — the pain is gone. If that sounds surprising, that’s what the researchers thought, too.

Their next task: Find a receptor unique to those neurons that can be activated with a drug.

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