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Pahavit's Universe

Date: 3-24-2009 8:03 PM
Subject: I'm in another chronic pain research study
Security: Public
Tags:chronic pain, disability/medical, fibromyalgia, omneuron, rtfmri, study
I'm in another chronic pain research study

This Friday is my first session in an experimental research study involving brain imaging for the treatment of chronic pain. In a study funded by the NIH, researchers are developing the use of real-time imaging of the functions of the human brain (rtfMRI) to train patients to change activations in brain regions that control the experience of pain. It's biofeedback's 21st-Century cousin.

The potential benefit is that by learning to better control the areas of the brain related to pain processing, I will have a reduced overall experience of pain and a better quality of life -- without drugs.

There's no guarantee I won't be in the control group, though, so my personal benefit may be nil. But even so, I'll be contributing to the research, which is a wonderful feeling in and of itself. And from what I understand, participants will be using virtual reality goggles during the scans -- how cool is that! That experience alone will be worth the overall hassle.

The study involves 12 appointments, 6 of which involve undergoing MRI scanning, spread out over several months. And for me, it all begins on Friday.

I posted about a previous treatment study I was in here.
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