Research shows that people with Interstitial Cystitis have increased grey matter volume in brain regions that are responsible for pain perception.
As I was researching information on the bladder, I found an interesting study about Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and the brain. The study was conduced to determine whether human patients with chronic Interstitial Cystitis display changes in brain morphology compared to healthy controls.
Compared to controls, females with Interstitial Cystitis displayed significant increased gray matter volume in several regions of the brain.
Using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, some people with Interstitial Cystitis had increased grey matter volume in brain regions that are responsible for pain perception.
Gray matter volume in the right primary somatosensory cortex was associated with greater pain, mood (anxiety) and urological symptoms.
What does the right somatosensory cortex do?
The somatosensory cortex is a region of the brain which is responsible for receiving and processing sensory information from across the body, such as touch, temperature, and pain.
Is Interstitial Cystitis neurological?
Brain matter (axonal) abnormalities associated with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome in women suggest that neuropathological brain alterations exist in, and might contribute to, chronic pelvic pain syndromes. [Jun 9, 2015]
Does Interstitial Cystitis show up on MRI?
Recently, diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) or DWI has been used for the diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis, where a high DW-MRI signal was found to be substantially higher in IC patients compared to normal controls. They suggested that having a positive DW-MRI signal was suggestive of IC. [Dec 8, 2021]
Can anxiety cause Interstitial Cystitis?
Stress does not cause IC, but if you have IC, stress can cause a flare. Physical stress and mental stress can lead to flares. Remember, every flare will settle down and worrying about it only prolongs the discomfort. [Nov 28, 2016]