Pain and Health Care
Pain is a critical problem in health care. It affects millions of individuals, costs billions of dollars, and is a major cause of suffering for patients. We have very little understanding of changes that occur in the brain when an individual is in pain. Therefore, many pain conditions – particularly those that are chronic – are difficult to treat and cause lifelong symptoms. A patient suffering from chronic pain will experience major changes in their nervous system, which can lead to personality changes, depression, and addiction. All of these alterations severely reduce patients’ quality of life.
The Center for Pain and the Brain’s mission is to discover more about the neurological, psychological, and autonomic processes behind both acute and chronic pain conditions. Our research aims to find new pain pathways in the brain and central nervous system. We also work to strengthen our understanding of the interaction between pain and drugs, specifically analgesics. Our large array of studies focus on migraine headaches, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), post-concussive headaches, ankle sprains, and more. Through our work, we hope to discover new ways to evaluate pain and enhance pain therapeutics, thus bettering pain treatment for clinicians, families and patients.