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Objective pain measurement could be a ‘game-changer’ for patients

New research into objective measurement of pain could be a ‘game-changer’ for patients, delegates at the European Pain Federation’s biennial Congress in Valencia, Spain, heard,

Until now, a patient’s experience of pain has always been subjective, relying upon their personal feeling and communication of the experience. However, a research project by the international consortium IMI-PainCare is aiming to identify biomarkers (such as proteins or hormones or pharmacodynamic measurements such as brain imaging) for pain to enable objective measurement. The Consortium is composed of 40 participants from 14 countries; six are EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) participants with strong traditions in pain research and development, 23 are internationally-renowned academic and clinical institutions, five are specialist SMEs with cutting-edge technologies, three are patient organisations, and three are professional pain/anaesthesia societies.

The project co-ordinator, Prof Rolf-Detlef Treede, the Chair of Neurophysiology at the Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology in Mannheim, Germany, presented the details and findings of the project to date at the EFIC Congress.

“Biomarkers for pain would be a complete game-changer, potentially providing us with an objective measurement of pain for the first time, allowing us to compare the severity of conditions and the efficacy of treatments and services,” said Prof Treede.

“If the same patient-reported outcomes are used universally, we will be better able to compare the performance of pain services and treatments across many types of pain condition,” he added. See for more information.

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