University of Colorado Doctors Use Brain Scans to "See" Pain

For the first time, scientists have been able to predict how much pain people are feeling by looking at images of their brains, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder. The findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, may lead to the development of reliable methods doctors can use to objectively quantify a patient's pain. Currently, pain intensity can only be measured based on a patient's own description, which often includes rating the pain on a scale of one to 10. Objective measures of pain could confirm these pain reports and provide new clues into how the brain generates different types of pain.

Back to news