Does That Hurt? Objective Way to Measure Pain Being Developed, Stanford University School of Medicine Study

Published: Sep 14, 2011

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a first step toward developing a diagnostic tool that could eliminate a major hurdle in pain medicine -- the dependency on self-reporting to measure the presence or absence of pain. The new tool would use patterns of brain activity to give an objective physiologic assessment of whether someone is in pain. The scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain combined with advanced computer algorithms to accurately predict thermal pain 81 percent of the time in healthy subjects, according to a study that will be published Sept. 13 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

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