Pain Research at Stanford

The last decade has seen dramatic changes in the way we understand pain. Rather than viewing pain as simply a symptom of trauma, infection, inflammation, or surgery, we now see it as a discrete disease entity - one that fundamentally alters the entire nervous system. In a major recent advance, neuroimaging tools have allowed us to peer inside the human brain in ways once only dreamed about – unlocking mysteries of where pain is perceived and processed, how it affects the brain, and how it can act to change our thoughts and emotions.

For the first time, we have the tools to effectively explore the impact of pain on the brain and can use this information to create the comprehensive interdisciplinary treatment needed to prevent or reverse these changes. Our ultimate goal is to lessen or stop our patient’s pain and restore and enhance their quality of life.

Details on current pain research in Dr. Mackey's Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab, including information for prospective study subjects, are available at the SNAPL website.