Peripheral Neuropathy .
18 Dec 2009
Chronic neuropathy results from the inability to activate the "Off" switch in microglial and astrocyte bodies in the dorsal root ganglion .
See Scientific American Nov 2009 p 33 .
These bodies monitor the frequencies of pulses of neurotransmitters from the neuron . If there is neural damage (like with acrylamide cf) , they detect this and increase the sensitivity of the neurons , while also releasing cytokines and some interleukins for repairs . (ie inflammatory response .)
The "Off"-switch for these systems could do with some redesign .
The off-switch is related to the percussive frequency of the heartbeat . And this has harmonics with the length of the spine . And this changes with posture .
The percussion changes the densities of fluid inside the dorsal ganglion , influencing the pulses of neurotransmitters . Note that microglia are responsible for re-uptake of neurotransmitters . Cf prozac. Cf yoga .
If they kick in , fewer neurotransmitters are recycled . Boosting the signal .
If the heartbeat returns to normal , fine .
But , stress .
The kicker is the length of the spine .
This changes the resonances inside the dorsal root ganglion . The microglia and astrocytes do not switch off . Neural sensitivity is enhanced , and typical peripheral neuropathy symptoms ensue .
Like when you lie down to sleep .
What to do .
1."Put a bolster under the bum , mum ."
Compress the spine mildly by putting a cushion under the bum , while having high cushions for the upper torso . This enables the off-switch .
This actually works . (like sitting in small gravity)
Percussions , either by mouth , or mechanical , can modify synapse responses .
Cf all those relaxing massages .
Some skill needed .
3.Retrain the system .
Even more skill needed .
A note on the Gate-theory of Pain .
Using something like capsaicum is a very short-term solution . From the argument above , the system will habituate as the microglials and astrocytes compensate for the storm of incoming signals .
Ditto for more powerful pain stillers .
Some intriguing speculations:
1.Phantom limb pain .
Try compressing the limb in imagination . The chronic pain switches should then at least have a chance of switching off .
Do it even with existing limbs .
The energy systems powering the microglials have the same imperatives as the rest of the mitochondria : alcohol has to be metabolized first .
A prolonged pulse of alcohol then causes an absence of pain . The pulses simply do not happen , and upstream consequences in the amygdala does not occur .
This causes an interrupt/reset in the microglial system . Which is why it so popular with humans .
The microglial system is the memory of pain . A little bit is good , but too much leads to learned helplessness and catatonia .
And the off-switch is interrupted by lying down .
Shaken or stirred .