Shedding Light on the Mystery of Chronic Pain

June 3, 2011

New breakthroughs in our understanding of the physical and biochemical pathways of pain may soon lead to effect disease-modifying drugs.

New breakthroughs in our understanding of the physical and biochemical pathways of pain may soon lead to effect disease-modifying drugs.

Watch as Elliot Krane, MD, director of Pain Management Services at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, gives a TED Talk on the “mystery of chronic pain.” He shares the story of a patient who fell and sprained her wrist, but presented to his clinic three months later suffering from dystonia and allodynia, with pain “that had spread from her wrist to her hands, to her fingertips, from her wrist up to her elbow, almost all the way to her shoulder.”

Krane discusses neurotransmitters; the role of glial cells “in the modulation, amplification, and in the case of pain, the distortion of sensory experiences;” and the various forms of therapy that can be employed to treat and manage chronic pain.

A complete interactive transcript of this presentation is also provided.