I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Mar 2023 - 31 Mar 2023

Psychology, Review

Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology


2023 Mar 14

J Clin Med




The Biology of Stress Intolerance in Patients with Chronic Pain-State of the Art and Future Directions.


Wyns A, Hendrix J, Lahousse A, De Bruyne E, Nijs J, Godderis L, Polli A


Stress has been consistently linked to negative impacts on physical and mental health. More specifically, patients with chronic pain experience stress intolerance, which is an exacerbation or occurrence of symptoms in response to any type of stress. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unsolved. In this state-of-the-art paper, we summarised the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the two major stress response systems in stress intolerance. We provided insights into such mechanisms based on evidence from clinical studies in both patients with chronic pain, showing dysregulated stress systems, and healthy controls supported by preclinical studies, highlighting the link between these systems and symptoms of stress intolerance. Furthermore, we explored the possible regulating role for (epi)genetic mechanisms influencing the ANS and HPA axis. The link between stress and chronic pain has become an important area of research as it has the potential to inform the development of interventions to improve the quality of life for individuals living with chronic pain. As stress has become a prevalent concern in modern society, understanding the connection between stress, HPA axis, ANS, and chronic health conditions such as chronic pain is crucial to improve public health and well-being.