04 May
Neurological pain signature Neurological pain signature

Doctors May Soon Be Able to 'See' Pain

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Medical science can diagnose many things. Broken bones, tumors, high cholesterol and blood pressure... But the inner workings of the human brain have always been elusive. Pain--an important part of patient treatment--is monitored on scales of one to ten, and as we all know, what some define as an "eight," others define as a "ten."

But that may soon change. Researchers, using brain scans, have been able to isolate a "neurological pain signature," visible when pain is felt through the skin. Scientists believe this is the first step toward being able to conclusively diagnose pain from headaches, back difficulties, and diseases.

While this may provide doctors the ability to diagnose hypochondria and disability scams, there are more important benefits to detecting pain on brain scans. Babies and accident victims who are unable to speak may now have a "voice" to their pain. This neurological pain signature goes beyond simply being able to see pain. Doctors are able to trace a pattern from combined signals that allow doctors to more adequately measure the level of a patient's pain.

Currently, doctors treat pain by blocking pain signals from the affected area to the brain. This new technology may provide medical science the ability to isolate the underlying root of the pain, finding more appropriate treatment that goes directly to the part of the brain affected.

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Read 1771 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 May 2013 11:37
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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