Led by Dr Christopher Brown, University of Liverpool in association with University of Manchester, TIYGA Health, and Salford Fibromyalgia Support Group
Chronic pain (lasting more than 3 months) can persist despite the best efforts of physicians, and can result in profound mental ill-health and disability. Research has found that the brain has an important role to play in how much pain people feel and whether they develop chronic pain symptoms. We are working towards new technologies that can both measure and treat changes in the brain that contribute to chronic pain. One new approach to treatment is applying visual, sound, touch or electrical stimulation to stimulate the brain. These new methods require technological development to be able to effectively target pain mechanisms in the brain. This project will investigate whether patients with chronic pain might find these non-intrusive methods of brain stimulation to be acceptable as a possible treatment, and to gather some initial evidence that the methods stimulate the brain in a useful way. We will also find out what requirements patients have for brain-monitoring (EEG) equipment that might help to improve brain stimulation treatments. Lastly, we want to find out whether smartphone-based pain diaries are something patients with chronic pain find useful to keep track of whether they are getting better or worse over time, for example in response to new treatments.