UCLA Launches Imaging Data Hub for Chronic Pain Research | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

UCLA Launches Imaging Data Hub for Chronic Pain Research

October 31, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) are launching a database of brain scans and other clinical information to help researchers better understand chronic-pain conditions.

The hub, which is being called the Pain and Interoception Imaging Network (PAIN), will be at the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress at UCLA. The university says it will be the first-ever standardized database for brain imaging associated with chronic pain, and already 14 institutions in North America and Europe are participating. The UCLA team has received a $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the imaging network.

"We are now recognizing that chronic pain is a brain disease, and if we want to treat it more effectively, we need to better understand and treat the mechanisms in the brain that are driving it," stated Emeran Mayer, M.D. a professor of medicine in the divisions of digestive diseases, physiology and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and executive director of the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress at UCLA.

Mayer, in a press release, adds that brain imaging is one of the “most promising technologies for breakthrough findings in chronic pain.” At this moment though, research is limited since most institutions can only support small studies on their own and lack access to large samples of patients. He also points to standardization of acquired data as an issue, which makes it difficult ot combine brain scans from multiple investigators that are obtained using different scanners, techniques and sets of clinical data.

With PAIN, researchers say they wish to include information from more than a thousand patients, including both adults and children. Along with the brain scans, researchers will also have access to clinical and biological information on patients, including symptom measures; psychosocial factors, gene expression, immune system information, data on bacteria in the intestines, and environmental data.



Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.