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How do you measure pain?

Wednesday 15th Jul 2020, 12.30pm

We all feel pain differently. What to one person may be the worst pain in the world, might be a mild irritation to another person; but why? At the moment, we don’t have a thorough understanding of how pain is processed, meaning it is difficult to devise treatments for chronic (long-term) pain. In this episode of the ‘Big Questions’ podcast, we are lucky enough to join Dr Andy Segerdahl – a neuroscientist at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford – for one of his experiments, where he is examining pain response (in a willing volunteer!) using an fMRI scanner. As he explains, if we can fully understand which parts of the brain and spinal cord are involved in pain response in a healthy individual, we can begin to understand how this response becomes dysfunctional.

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