Stegemann et al. have unraveled a long-lasting role for fear engrams in future pain perception. Prefrontal pain and fear representations become entangled following a fearful event. As subsequent painful experiences also reactivate the fear network, silencing the fear engram alone can alleviate both tonic pain and hypersensitivity in chronic pain.
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We thank C. Gillon for helpful comments. This work was supported by grants to G.V. from ANR (ANR-20-CE16-0015-01), Emergence(s) Ville de Paris (2019 DAE 81), a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (no. 29489).
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Pouget, C., Vetere, G. Fear memory engram is the mind-killer. Nat Neurosci 26, 729–731 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-023-01292-w