HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 21, No 11, November 2017 – Paediatric Illnesses       » Breakthrough new rice variety announced in Northern China       » Ebola vaccine approved in China       » Study reveals anti-cancer properties of a fungus used in traditional medicine       » Chinese scientists create genetically modified low-fat pigs       » China, Brazil and Russia are riskiest markets for compliance and regulation       » Why are Korean eggs salmonella-free?      
BIOBOARD - AUSTRALIA
Chronic pain research delves into the brain
Researchers from the University of Adelaide say new insights into how the human brain responds to chronic pain could eventually lead to improved treatments for patients.

The brain's ability to change structurally and functionally with experience and use can be described using the term neuroplasticity.

"Neuroplasticity underlies our learning and memory, making it vital during early childhood development and important for continuous learning throughout life," says Dr Ann-Maree Vallence, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute.

"The mechanisms responsible for the development of chronic pain are poorly understood. While most research focuses on changes in the spinal cord, this research investigates the role of brain plasticity in the development of chronic pain."

Dr Vallence, who is based in the Robinson Institute's Neuromotor Plasticity and Development Group, conducted a study on patients with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH), a common chronic pain disorder. CTTH is characterized by a dull, constant feeling of pressure or tightening that usually affects both sides of the head, occurring for 15 days or more per month. Other symptoms include poor sleep, irritability, disturbed memory and concentration, and depression and anxiety.

"People living with chronic headache and other forms of chronic pain may experience reduced quality of life, as the pain often prevents them from working, amongst other things. It is therefore imperative that we understand the causes of chronic pain, not just attempt to treat the symptoms with medication," Dr Vallence says.

In this study, participants undertook a motor training task consisting of moving their thumb as quickly as possible in a specific direction. The change in performance (or learning) on the task was tracked by recording how quickly subjects moved their thumb. A non-invasive brain stimulation technique was also used to obtain a measure of the participants' neuroplasticity.

"Typically, when individuals undertake a motor training task such as this, their performance improves over time and this is linked with a neuroplastic change in the brain," Dr Vallence says. "The people with no history of chronic pain got better at the task with training, and we observed an associated neuroplastic change in their brains. However, our chronic headache patients did not get better at the task and there were no associated changes in the brain, suggesting impaired neuroplasticity.

"These results provide a novel and important insight into the cause of chronic pain, and could eventually help in the development of a more targeted treatment for CTTH and other chronic pain conditions," she says.

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Novogen becomes Kazia Therapeutics
news Transforming healthcare through innovation: addressing unmet healthcare needs in Asia Pacific
news 77% of healthcare leaders believe they need to be a digital business to succeed: Microsoft study
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Advocacies in Support of Rare Disease Patients
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye – the Window to your Soul
September:
Infectious Diseases
October:
A change of heart — Cardiovascular diseases
November:
Paediatric Illnesses
December:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2017 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy