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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2011 Apr;35(5):1125-43. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.11.005. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

CNS animal fMRI in pain and analgesia.

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P.A.I.N. Group, Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, United States.


Animal imaging of brain systems offers exciting opportunities to better understand the neurobiology of pain and analgesia. Overall functional studies have lagged behind human studies as a result of technical issues including the use of anesthesia. Now that many of these issues have been overcome including the possibility of imaging awake animals, there are new opportunities to study whole brain systems neurobiology of acute and chronic pain as well as analgesic effects on brain systems de novo (using pharmacological MRI) or testing in animal models of pain. Understanding brain networks in these areas may provide new insights into translational science, and use neural networks as a "language of translation" between preclinical to clinical models. In this review we evaluate the role of functional and anatomical imaging in furthering our understanding in pain and analgesia.

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