By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – Patients who take morphine pills for lower back pain may experience changes in the volume of the brain’s gray matter in as little as a month, a small study suggests. In the 30-day experiment, researchers gave 11 patients daily morphine pills and 10 people placebos and then took magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to see if treatment impacted the brain. The morphine group had gray matter volume declines of about 3 percent in regions of the brain thought to regulate emotions, cravings and responses to pain and volume increases in areas believed to be responsible for learning, memory and executive function.
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Morphine for back pain tied to rapid changes in brain