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In this episode, Dr. David Hanscom talks with neuroscientist Dr. Vania Apkarian, about his groundbreaking research into how chronic pain affects brain structure and activity. He shares his vision for understanding how measurable neural activity translates into the subjective experience of chronic pain. He discusses the changes that the brains of chronic pain patients undergo over time and the possibility of predicting which patients suffering from an acute pain incident will go on to develop chronic pain.
Vania Apkarian, MD is Professor of Neuroscience, Anesthesia, PM&R and director of Center of Translational Pain Research at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. His research involves human brain imaging and animal mechanistic studies mainly in the topics of chronic pain and of opiate addiction in chronic pain. He has been studying brain predictors of placebo response as well as brain properties involved in perception in general. His initial training was in electrical engineering and he has been conducting neuroscience research for over 3 decades.