So your kid often complains of stomach ache? You will soon be able to find out if it is just an excuse to skip school.
Scientists are developing a special ‘pain map’ of the brain which can help doctors measure the level and location of pain felt by patients.
Researchers from the University College London announced the development of a pain map which enables them to pinpoint the exact location and intensity of discomfort in the body, The Telegraph reported.
Using brain scanning technology, neuroscientists have been able to see how the brain responds to pain and map the signals to different parts of the body.
They have also been able to measure how much pain someone is in from the signals in the brain.
In the technique, different parts of the body light up specific areas of the brain when they are in pain.
Flavia Mancini, said it could change the way pain is diagnosed in patients and make it possible to quantify it objectively for the first time.
“When we used a laser to activate the pain receptors on the hand and fingers of our healthy subjects, we could see a signal very clearly in the brain. Other parts of the body will show up just as well,” she said.
“The ways we quantify pain at the moment are unreliable and if a patient has difficulty communicating it can be very hard. In the future, we see this as a way to track pain in patients as there is a signal in the brain that correspondents to the current pain the person is experiencing,” she was quoted as saying by the paper.
The findings were presented at the World Congress on Pain in Milan.