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Development and validation of human experimental models of pain
Denmark (IMCC) - Aalborg University, Aalborg
Department of Health Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine
Kim Dremstrup, PhD
Parisa Gazerani, PharmD, PhD
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Treatment of pain is a major challenge in clinical medicine. Pain mechanisms involved in pain associated disorders are only partially understood. This may lead to suboptimal treatments. Studying of pain mechanisms in pain patients is often difficult due to the fact that many symptoms of underlying diseases confound the outcome assessment. In addition, selection of analgesics is mainly based on trial-error due to difficult characterization and treatment of pain in heterogeneous pain population. Hence, there is a need for new methods in pain assessments and associated strategies for optimal pain treatments.
What is the aim of the project?
Human experimental pain models can limit confounders and offer possibility of exploring pain system under controlled settings. Pain models can also be used to screen analgesic profiles of drugs developing to treat pain
What techniques and methods are used?
In human experimental pain research a stimulus is needed that will elicit pain and a measure of the response to the painful stimulus. Multimodal stimulation and assessment methods are available and being used in better understanding of pain mechanisms and also testing analgesic efficacy of potential compounds to treat pain
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
- Student will develop a human study protocol for induction and assessment of pain in healthy humans. Pilot tests will be done and data will be collected and analyzed. A short scientific report will be prepared. All steps are with direct help and supervision. The techniques that students need to appoly are Quantitative sensory testings (QSTs). QSTs are techniques employed to measure the intensity of stimuli needed to produce specific sensory perceptions. They are used to evaluate a sensory detection threshold or other sensory responses from supra-threshold stimulation. The common physical stimuli are (i) touch-pressure - (ii) vibration - and (iii) coolness - warmth - cold pain - and heat pain.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
There is theoretical teaching provided
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Being familiar with neuroscience from knowledge point of view and interest to performing sensory tests on humans, collecting data and data analysis, scientific writing. Subjects passed: Neurology, Neuroscience, Pain basics. Previous experience with: statistics. Certificate of: Good Clinical Practice (GCP). GCP is an international quality standard that guides regulations for clinical trials involving human subjects. A basic understanding of GCP guidelines is required. There are free online courses that can be taken
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Human experimental pain models for assessing the therapeutic efficacy of analgesic drugs. Pharmacol Rev. 2012 Jul;64(3):722-79
- Human experimental pain models: A review of standardized methods in drug development. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Jun; 17(6): 587?595.
- Quantitative sensory testing (QST). English version. Schmerz. 2016 Jan 29
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