Time: 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
Location: Dental Sciences Building, Room D7-11
The evaluation of chronic pain patients with advanced neuroimaging techniques has provided structural and functional signatures of conditions like back pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis (see attached). As a common condition affecting hip and knee joints, osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory-based disease that has a prominent peripheral component. In recent years arthritis has also been shown to have anatomical and functional consequences in brain regions associated with the affective component of pain (see attached). Interestingly spontaneous pain associated with arthritis has a different brain signature than that evoked by acute mechanical stimulation (see attached). Clearly different imaging strategies have provided a lot of insight into how arthritis as well as different treatment strategies impacts the brain. What remains to be determined, however, is how information from the increasing number of imaging studies can be used to develop new treatments that will improve the life quality of those affected with OA. This question applies not only to the study of arthritis but in a broader context can be asked of the pain field in general. Imaging studies represent a valuable tool for discovery but the translational value of these studies has yet to be defined. This is an interesting topic and one that promises to generate a lively discussion that will be led by Dr. Steve Coombes.