'Pain Map' to Measure the Level and Location of Pain

by Sheela Philomena on  September 3, 2012 at 12:55 PM Research News   - G J E 4
New pain map of the brain reveals the level and location of pain felt by patients.

The research, which utilises detailed brain-scanning technology, could also finally put an end to the age-old debate about whether women suffer more pain than men.
 'Pain Map' to Measure the Level and Location of Pain
'Pain Map' to Measure the Level and Location of Pain

Women have long complained that men exaggerate their discomfort from a variety of ailments, such as bad backs, in order to be looked after or even to avoid doing DIY.

This argument could soon be settled after researchers at the University College London announced the development of a pain map that enables them to pinpoint the exact location and intensity of discomfort in the body.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, neuroscientists will use the technology to see how the brain responds to pain and map the signals to different parts of the body.

It has enabled them to measure how much pain someone is in from their brain signals.

The technique is being developed because the current way doctors assess the patient's pain using a scale of one to ten is deemed to be relatively unreliable.

Dr Flavia Mancini, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, who has helped develop the pain map, said that different parts of the body light up specific areas of the brain when they are in pain.

She said it could enable doctors to quantify pain objectively for the first time.

"The ways we quantify pain at the moment are unreliable and if a patient has difficulty communicating it can be very hard," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

"In the future, we see this as a way to track pain in patients as there is a signal in the brain that corresponds to the current pain the person is experiencing," she added.

The findings of the study will be presented at the World Congress on Pain in Milan on Thursday.

Source: ANI

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