HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 06, June 2018 – Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes       » Gardasil 9 supply running short in Hong Kong       » China helps Tajikistan tackle grassland degradation       » Immuno-oncology trials in China surge more than 50 per cent       » Yeast for industrial biotechnology       » Uncontrolled hypertension in rural communities      
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 Shire, Microsoft and EURORDIS form Global Commission to accelerate time to diagnosis for children with rare diseases
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  
Click here to receive APBN e-newsletters once a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Women in Science - Making a difference
April:
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
May:
Dental health - The root to good health
June:
Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes
July:
Water management / Vaccination
August:
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
September:
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
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© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy