These are the current research studies that some of the BiM team are doing. We would LOVE it if you would participate.
1. We need your shoulder!
Chronic pain can alter one’s ability to recognise the laterality of the pictured body part i.e. whether it is a right or left image. When tested formally this is sometimes called the laterality test, or more properly, the left/right judgement task. The task has been applied in a number of conditions including complex regional pain syndrome, OA, whiplash, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Shoulder pain is common, it can be debilitating and also become chronic. Although we know some of you are using it clinically, so far the left/right judgement task has not been empirically investigated with shoulder pain. In this large online study, and a joint project with the NOI team, we are applying the shoulder left/right judgement task to participants with and without shoulder pain. This work will build on work already done by several of the BiM team. Our aim of this project is to determine the accuracy and response time of the task for normal healthy subjects and compare the results to those of subjects with shoulder pain. In short, to see if shoulder pain affects the task. This may help us to better understand shoulder pain and improve treatment options.
The people: John Breckenridge, Karen Ginn and James MacAuley
2. Does this make it hurt less?
The ultimate objective in all we do at BodyinMind is to develop better ways to treat and prevent chronic pain. We have developed some treatments that show promise – some are now cited in clinical guidelines. We test these treatments first via replicated case series using a very strict approach, then randomised controlled trials if the case series suggests it is worth it. We are currently exploring strategies that train cortical inhibition as potential treatments.
The people: Tasha Stanton, Anton Harms, James McAuley, Lorimer Moseley.
3. Is there a breakdown of sensory extraction in chronic pain?
There is a range of studies that imply that in chronic pain, sensory stimuli that would imply safety get shouted over by sensory stimuli that imply danger. This idea is reasonably well established in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These experiments are testing this idea using brain responses to sensory stimuli.
The people: Carolyn Berryman, Sandy McFarlane, Lorimer Moseley
If you want to be involved in this and you live in Adelaide, please contact Carolyn Berryman ([email protected])
4. Implicit motor imagery in health and disease.
Implicit motor imagery can be tested using left/right judgements of pictured body parts. We have done a range of studies on this and it has led to some promising treatments for chronic pain disorders. We are continuing this line of investigation, primarily using noigroup.com’s online software, which is very cool. We are looking at neck, trunk, shoulder and knee, as well as ongoing work with hands and feet.
The people: Eva Bosch, Jane Bowering, Hayley Leake, Sarah Wallwork, Hilton Stewart, Tasha Stanton, Anton Harms, John Breckenridge, James McAuley, Karen Gin, Jo Gibson, Ian Fulton, David Butler, Lorimer Moseley.
If you want to get involved in these studies, you can do that no matter where you live as long as you have a decent internet connection. Click here
5. Why do some people get CRPS and others do not?
We are undertaking a couple of very large studies into this. We are taking data from consecutive hand injury patients from two large hospitals in Sydney. We are then following these people for 4 months to see if they get CRPS. We will then go back to the initial data to see if we can predict their outcome on the basis of those data. We are doing blood tests, brain scans, sensory function tests and psychological tests.
The people: Flavia Di Pietro, Luke Parkitny, James McAuley, Lorimer Moseley.
6. Top-down and bottom-up – efferent system disruption in chronic pain.
There are a range of chronic pain disorders that are associated with disruption of efferent systems – autonomic, motor for example. We are doing experiments in people with chronic pain to see if we can modulate these systems by manipulating higher order cortical representations. For example, is there a spatially-defined disruption of tactile processing or thermoregulation in people with chronic limb or back pain?
The people: Alberto Gallace, Giandomenico Iannetti, Jacob van Hilten, Han Marinus, Lorimer Moseley.