RSD/CRPS produces true chronic pain in patients due to its effect on their Central Nervous System with new research indicating additional adverse and serve damage to their overall health.
Considered a marker for biological aging linked to increased risk for morbidity and mortality, shortened leukocyte telomere length now has been associated with pain in the Central Nervous System and effects fibromyalgia patients, researchers at the University of Michigan have found. The investigators also found that shortened telomere length was directly related to evoked pain sensitivity and altered brain structure, suggesting that pain may accelerate cellular aging.
“Telomeres are protein complexes that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes,” said Afton L. Hassett, PsyD, associate research scientist in the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center at the Ann Arbor institution. “Critically short telomeres put cells at risk for apoptosis and death.”
Feeling One’s Biological Age
Telomere length has been associated with a variety of age-related illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and several forms of cancer. Sex, race, socioeconomic status and even level of education appear to affect the length of a person’s telomeres, as do behaviors and physical characteristics such as smoking, body mass index, stress and depression.
Patients were categorized as experiencing high levels of pain were more likely to have shorter telomeres regardless of their chronological age. This difference, represents approximately five years of aging, as based on a previous study that linked the deterioration of telomeres to time (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998;95:5607-5610). That suggests telomere length is a measure of biological as opposed to chronological age.
It was also found that patients categorized as high pain/high depression had telomeres that were 265 base pairs shorter, on average, than those with low pain/low depression, a difference consistent with approximately six years of chronological aging. In quantitative sensory testing, the researchers found a very high correlation” between telomere length and sensitivity to pain that was statistically significant. People with the shortest telomere lengths were by far the most sensitive to pain.
Neuroimaging in a subset of 12 patients found that telomere length also was related to a person’s volume of gray matter with the patients with shorter telomeres displaying less brain matter volume in pain processing areas of the brain.
Exactly why telomere length has such a significant association with these variables is open to interpretation, although the predominant theory is that decreases in cortisol levels may create an environment where there’s greater low-level inflammatory activity.
Belt Law Firm, P.C., is an Alabama law firm with extensive national experience in representing RSD/CRPS afflicted persons and handling RSD/CRPS cases with a focus on regional litigation in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Delaware. To learn more, call the firm toll-free at 205-933-1500 or use its online form.
The personal injury attorneys at Belt Law Firm have successfully represented RSD/CRPS clients in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. These cases involved injuries from automobile accidents (shoulder injury, ankle fracture), product malfunctions (hand crush, wrist fracture), slip and falls (knee contusion, wrist fracture), poorly performed blood draws (antecubital pain), and crush injuries (ankle, Achilles tendon).
Among the settlements we have achieved in RSD/CRPS cases are: $2,500,000 for a (AL) slip and fall case involving a woman who developed RSD after suffering a broken wrist, $1,300,000 for a (FL) case where a woman developed RSD after an improperly performed blood draw, and $800,000 for a (TN) woman who developed RSD after suffering a bruised knee due to a slip and fall in a grocery store. ...Read More