Research: Pain meds can affect emotional distress

ABC KGO-TV:

Many of us take an over-the-counter medication to treat a headache or muscle pain, but new research says the active ingredient appears to have an effect on emotional distress as well.

┬áIf you’re suffering emotionally, the pain can almost feel physical, but can emotional pain be treated in the same way as physical pain?

Researchers at the University of Florida measured brain activity in people who were experiencing social rejection — even something as minor as an unreturned phone call.

“Emotional pain hurts physically because, as research has shown, it targets the same neurological pathways,” said clinical psychiatrist Clara Lora, MD.

After identifying the affected pathways with MRIs, doctors gave the patients acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The study, published by the Journal of Psychological Science, found the drug lessened the brain’s response to the pain signals.

Read the whole story: ABC KGO-TV

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