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The Development of Human Pain

by Rebeccah Slater, Professor
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 1 Nursing Contact Hours
  • Handout: No
Abstract:

Pain in infancy has negative long-term consequences and its prevention is a clinical priority, but adequate pain treatment requires mechanistic understanding of the structural and functional development of human pain-related brain circuitry. Recent scientific and technological advances provide insights into how noxious information is transmitted to the infant brain, providing a platform to ask how intrinsic brain network connectivity and the environment affect pain-related brain activity, behaviour and ultimately pain perception in the developing infant nervous system.

As infants cannot describe their pain, we are reliant on alternative methods to measure their pain experience. My goal is to understand the mechanisms that drive and modulate pain perception in early human development. In this talk, I will discuss a series of mechanistic studies in human infants that aim to better understand the development of human pain. I will address fundamental questions regarding the functional development of pain-related brain activity and behavior, and will discuss whether inherent individual differences in how the infant brain behaves at rest drives differences in pain vulnerability. Finally, I will describe how these mechanistic insights can be used to test new analgesic treatment options and improve the treatment of infant pain.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Discuss how brain imaging can be used to better understand the development of pain perception in the human infant.

Objective 2: Discuss how infant pain experience can be influenced by intrinsic and external influences.

Objective 3: Analyze novel clinical trials to demonstrate how analgesic efficacy and safety of drugs can be measured in human infants.


Categories:
Presentations: 5  |  Hours / CE Credits:  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks