Understanding Pain in the Brain - UTCSP Cross-Talks

The first Cross-Talks seminar of the year was held on January 9, 2014 in the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. Cross-talks are multidisciplinary seminars co-hosted by the Centre for Brain and Mental Health and the University of Toronto Center for the Study of Pain (UTCSP). This cross-talk focused on pain in the vulnerable brain. Presentations were given by three experts from diverse fields of research; Dr. Karen Davis (Toronto Western Hospital), Dr. Jason Lerch (Sick Kids), and Dr. Steven Miller (Sick Kids). Dr. Steven Miller focused on preterm newborn babies, and how pain incurred in the first weeks of pre-term life can drastically change structural growth of the brain as it matures. Dr. Jason Lerch’s talk focused on rapidly changing anatomy in the context of pain, demonstrating that a single painful event can lead to significant structural changes in the brain. Dr. Karen Davis gave insights on the use of brain imaging to determine individual differences in pain perception. Together these talks mixed both clinical and basic research to give the audience a better understanding of a variety of techniques for studying pain in the brain, as well as novel insights into how pain changes brain structure, and a structural basis through which to explain how the pain experience may differ from person to person. Stay tuned for future cross-talks as the year progresses!

For more information on the work of these presenters, please visit their websites.

Dr. Karen Davis – http://www.uhnresearch.ca/researchers/profile.php?lookup=1360

Dr. Jason Lerch – http://www.sickkids.ca/AboutSickKids/Directory/People/L/jason-lerch-staff-profile.html

Dr. Steven Miller – http://www.sickkids.ca/Research/steven-miller-lab/dr-steven-miller/index.html