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Clinical Trial Summary

Over the past few years, significant advances have begun to be made in the development of particular measures as valid biomarkers or surrogate markers for the presence of acute and chronic pain. Many of these advances have been made because of the development of new and improved technologies, for example in the fields of imaging and genetics. Research is now showing brain activity and brain organizational changes associated with the presence of pain. Various factors have been found in the blood that is associated with the presence of pain. Research is also suggesting that pupil responses to a variety of stimuli may predict the presence of pain. And machine learning analysis of videos has found facial movement patterns in both animals and humans that are correlated with the presence of pain.

This is a pilot study to investigate whether components of a person's electrical brain activity do reflect pain sensation.


Clinical Trial Description

Over the past few years, significant advances have begun to be made in the development of particular measures as valid biomarkers or surrogate markers for the presence of acute and/or chronic pain. Many of these advances have been made because of the development of new and improved technologies, for example in the fields of imaging and genetics. Research is now showing brain activity and brain organizational changes associated with the presence of pain. Various factors have been found in the blood that is associated with the presence of pain. Research is also suggesting that pupil responses to a variety of stimuli may predict the presence of pain and machine learning analysis of videos has found facial movement patterns in both animals and humans that are correlated with the presence of pain.

The establishment of a biomarker of pain is a key requirement for understanding the person-specific effects of anesthetic and analgesic drugs. An objective pain measure will be an integral part in the planning of an anesthetic and potentially enable the researchers to answer the question whether proper matching of the anesthetic or analgesic dose to a person's individual profile will result in better cognitive recovery from anesthesia.

There are several approaches to quantifying pain in an objective fashion. These approaches are based on the observation of afferent signals to the brain, brain integration of nociceptive signals or secondary responses to nociceptive signals (ocular, facial, autonomic or behavioral responses). Pain has been studied extensively with fMRI. Several other methods have been proposed: pain behavior, pupillary responses, and autonomic responses.

Somatosensory evoked electrical potentials (SSEP) are routinely recorded to assess the integrity of sensory pathways during spine surgery. Our primary study aim is to correlate the neuronal (EEG) signal (Y1) and/or γ - band power (Y2) with both the stimulus intensity (X1, the voltage of constant current stimulator output) and the perceived pain intensity (X2)

This is a pilot study to test the hypothesis that the gamma frequency range (30 -100 Hz) of standard EEG or somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) correlate with intensity of an experimental pain stimulus and perceived (self-rating, subjective) pain intensity. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03495180
Study type Interventional
Source University of Alabama at Birmingham
Contact Adam Sturdivant, MPH
Phone 205-934-4042
Email adamsturdivant@uabmc.edu
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date May 22, 2018
Completion date September 1, 2019

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