WINNERS OF THE EFIC-GRÜNENTHAL GRANT (EGG) 2005

Prof. Jens Ellrich, MD, PhD

LONG-TERM DEPRESSION OF HUMAN PAIN PROCESSING

Electric low-frequency stimulation of afferent nerve fibers induces long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission. LTD is a main experimental model of synaptic plasticity and is a promising phenomenon in terms of erasure of pain memory. The project addresses the hypothesis that LTD of human pain processing is mediated by supraspinal mechanisms. Electrophysiological, psychophysical, and imaging techniques are applied in healthy volunteers.

CAN SOMATIC ALLODYNIA BE USED AS A BIOMARKER OF CENTRAL SENSITISATION IN A HUMAN MODEL OF VISCERAL INJURY?

Visceral injury induces allodynia in the somatic region of referral reflecting viscerosomatic convergence within the spinal dorsal horn. The objective of this study is to explore the neurophysiological basis of chest wall allodynia induced by experimental oesophageal acidification in a healthy human model using magnetoencephalo- graphy.

Dr. Anthony R. Hobson, PhD
Helge Kasch, MD, PhD

PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION IN CHRONIC WHIPLASH SYNDROME. A PLACEBO CONTROLLED RANDOMIZED STUDY

Based on a 1-year prospective study completed October 2004, of 760 acute whiplash patients (WAD grade 1-3), approximately 100 patients with disabling neck pain/disability and headache were identified. Cognitive behavioural therapy by a skilled psychologist or placebo low back exercises are given randomized for 3 months in a 1-year prospective follow-up study.

HIGH RESOLUTION FMRI OF ANTI- AND PRO- NOCICEPTIVE PROCESSING IN THE HUMAN BRAINSTEM OF PATIENTS WITH IBS AND FM

We aim to use high-resolution Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) to understand better the role of key brainstem structures in pain processing within patients suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Fibromyalgia (FM). Somatic and visceral stimuli will be given to patients using a novel anxiety paradigm previously developed by my group.

Irene Tracey, MA, PhD
Dr. Christina Liossi, CPsychol

The aim of the fellowship is to get training in experimental pain research methods at the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI) at Aalborg University, Denmark.