Mieux comprendre la chronicisation de la douleur à l'aide des techniques de neuroimagerie et de neurostimulation

 

Guillaume Léonard

CSSS -  Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke

 

Domaine : vieillissement

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2014-2015

It is estimated that over 15% of the population suffers from chronic pain. This important health issue is responsible for substantial suffering and disability, and is now recognized as a leading cause of economic burden in our modern society.  Like many chronic diseases, the prevalence of chronic pain substantially increases with age, which is cause for worry for the years to come, considering our aging population. In this research program, I will attempt to better understand the mechanisms involved in pain chronicity. To do this, I will use neuroimaging (electroencephalography) and neurostimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation) tools. These tools will enable me to measure the activity of certain areas of the brain, particularly those involved in movement preparation and execution (motor cortex) and memory (temporal lobe).

I am particularly interested in understanding how these two areas of the brain interact with the areas that are involved in pain perception. I will also attempt to determine if the information gathered with these tools can be used to identify, in patients suffering from an acute episode of back pain, the individuals who will eventually develop persistent pain. Rapid identification of these individuals will allow us to set up an adapted treatment approach, aimed at reducing the number of people suffering from chronic pain.