Physiologie et pathologie des mécanismes de régulation des réflexes nociceptifs et de la douleur

 

Mathieu Piché

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2015-2016

Chronic pain is a major health issue, which affects approximately 20 % of the population, represents a major economical and societal burden, leads to expenses of several billions of dollars every year, in addition to the severe personal consequences. In this research program, I will investigate the mechanisms of chronic pain in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder involving chronic abdominal pain associated with an alteration of the gastrointestinal transit. IBS affects between 10 and 15 % of the population in Canada. It leads to an important decrease in quality of life and very high personal and societal costs. Although it is a gastroenterological disorder, the development and persistence of chronic pain in IBS is associated with pathological processes of the nervous system. In this research program, I will investigate these pathological processes.

The long term objective of my research program is to better understand the physiological and pathological mechanisms of pain in order to develop innovative therapeutic methods. In the next four years, I will focus on 1) the development of an experimental model to study spinal cord functions related to pain and how the spinal cord contributes to the persistence of chronic pain in patients with IBS 2) the study of brain mechanisms allowing blocking the perception of pain naturally 3) how these brain mechanisms may be altered and lead to chronic pain in patients with IBS. In the long term, the outcomes of my research program will lead to the development of new methods to stimulate the brain in order to treat chronic pain.