I don't think it causes permanent damage as suggested. That's just my opinion though mind you. I suspect it is a distraction issue that occures as you are having pain. It's hard to concentrate when your preocupied with pain. Pre-injury, I was not very clear headed / smart / etc. when I had "normal pain" such as migrain headaches, broken bones, etc.

For those of us with pain / altered brain activity, I suspect a sudden absence in the pain would restore focus and normal brain function.